The UC Food Observer chooses some important stories for you to read each work day. On today’s menu:


1. Research: Americans’ eating habits are changing for the better; calorie consumption is declining. Margot Sanger-Katz reports for the New York TimesAlso…The gene for sweet: why we don’t all taste sugar the same way. Eliza Barclay (@elizabarclay) writes for NPR’s The Salt.


2. Food culture. Roosevelt Brownlee’s Jazz Combo Platter. A Vietnam War veteran, Brownlee worked as a cook on the European jazz festival circuit. Now he’s back in his hometown of Savannah, cooking for festivals. Joe York (@yorkspork) has produced a terrific short film about Brownlee (a little over five minutes) for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Breakfast with Zeke: “Gathering friends around the griddle is a life-affirming experience.” A fascinating profile of noted bioethicist and oncologist Zeke Emanuel and his “pop-up” breakfasts. Corby Kummer (@CKummer) for The Atlantic.


3. The UC Food Observer interviews Mary Kimball of the Center for Land-Based Learning. Learn  how one organization is educating youth about agriculture and helping prepare the next generation of farmers.


4. USDA: Equipment sharing leaves farms vulnerable to avian influenza. Daniel Enoch reports for Agri-Pulse.


5. ICYMI, Nathanael Johnson (@SavorTooth) interviews Temple Grandin on the practical side of what animals want. Appearing in Grist. Also: more city dwellers are embracing “hobby farms.” Michelle Hoffman reports for the Los Angeles Times. From the Washington Post: The FDA says consumers should have more information about “added sugars” in foods. By Brady Dennis (@brady_dennis). From the UK: Drones and driverless tractors…is this the future of agriculture? By Peter Moore (@petermoore) for The Guardian. 


6. Books we’re reading (and loving):  RAIN: A Natural and Cultural History, by Cynthia Barnett (@cynthiabarnett). The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, by Kristin Ohlson (@kristinohlson).


Have a great day!