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. Food, glorious food. For those of us not fortunate enough to be heading to the California State Fair, Lesley McClurg (@lesleywmcclurg) of Capital Public Radio sends us an “audio postcard“: a sampling of the fair’s fare. Deep-fried watermelon on a stick is included. The release of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, inspired this piece about Lane cake in NPR’s The Salt. Written by Meredith Bethune (@meredithbethune), it explores the origins of the whiskey-infused cake prepared by Scout Finch’s neighbor, Miss Maudie, in To Kill a Mockingbird.


2. Whale hunting in Alaska. Residents of Point Hope are caught between tradition and climate change. An important piece; stunning photography. Julia O’Malley (@julia_omalley) writes this piece for The Guardian. Photography by Katie Orlinsky (@KatieOrlinsky); her work has recently appeared in National Geographic.


3. University of California President Janet Napolitano launched an ambitious Global Food Initiative one year ago. The goal? To harness the resources of the institution to address one of the most compelling issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed 9 billion people. The initiative has gotten off to a fast start on each campus. UCSF professor/researcher Laura Schmidt (@LauraSchmidtPhD) values the initiative in part because it’s helping to “…get science out into the real world so it can have a positive impact on health.” Alec Rosenberg reports. Visit the initiative’s website here. (You can learn more about Schmidt’s work by visiting SugarScience.)


4. Los Angeles Times reporter Diana Marcum (@DianaMarcum) sets off with photojournalist Robert Gauthier (@rgaut999) on a road trip to document California’s drought. #drylandsCA is already proving to be an absolutely riveting series. Innovative, first-hand reporting. Marcum won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Also on a drought road trip this week: MSNBC host Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) reporting from California.


5. ICYMI, Helena Bottemiller Evich (@hbottemiller) has produced a blockbuster investigative report for Politico: “Why President Obama and Congress turned their backs on food safety.”


Have a great day.