The UC Food Observer chooses a handful of important stories for you to read each work day. Typically, we offer this on Fridays, but with so many important and wonderful stories out there, we’ll be providing a wrap several days a week.

On the menu, in no particular order:


1. A Charleston feast for reconciliation (Gravy episode 17; audio). From Tina Antolini (@tinaantolini) at The Southern Foodways Alliance (@potlikker). This is an incredibly important and timely piece. Gravy was selected by the James Beard Foundation’s (@beardfoundation) as its “Publication of the Year.”


2. The Smithsonian sets up a frozen plant repository. The collection will “catalogue biodiversity and facilitate genomic research.” Boer Deng (@boerdeng) reports for Nature.


3. Two UCLA grads are working with high school students to bring fresh produce to the Watts community. CBS in Los Angeles reports. Watch the video here.


4. “Meal kits by the numbers: how do they stack up?” They add convenience, but will they help create a new distribution channel for farmers? Anna Roth (@annaroth) writes a fascinating piece for Civil Eats.


5. The U.S. and Switzerland announce an organic trade agreement. Sarah Gonzalez reports for Agri-Pulse.


6. Republicans defeat an amendment on horse slaughter. Via Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) for The Hill.


There’s a great deal going on this week legislatively around agriculture. A few good follows: @hbottemiller @agripulse @chasepurdy @PhilipBrasher



The Los Angeles Times’ Russ Parsons (@Russ_Parsons1) provides a great service to those seeking to simplify their summer cooking routine. Frittata and 11 more dinner recipes you can make in under 30 minutes will give you more time to enjoy the other pleasures of summer. Parsons is a favorite of ours; follow him on Twitter for good stuff all around.

Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) has written a piece about @herdyshepherd1, also known as James Rebanks for National Geographic’s The Plate. Rebanks’ newly released book, The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape, is garnering rave reviews. (It’s that good).

Our Q&A with California flower grower Mike Mellano. Mike speaks candidly about trade, the challenges of farming in an increasingly urbanized area, the buy local movement…and what it’s like to provide flowers for the Rose Parade.