Good morning!


The UC Food Observer chooses some important stories for you to read each work day. On today’s packed menu, in no particular order:


Breaking news. Monsanto sweetens its offer to Syngenta, valuing the firm at $47 billion. This piece by Mike Stone (@MichaelStone) and PJ Huffstutter (@PJHuffstutter1) appears in Reuters. And this: “Big Food” has been affected by the recent stock market plunge. Learn more by reading this informative piece penned by Dan Mitchell (@TheFoodEconomy); it appears in Fortune.


Profiles: Paul Dobbins, kelp farmer. How to feed the world, with a little kelp from our friends. Nathanael Johnson (@SavorTooth) writes for Grist. A stellar read: we learned an awful lot! Achievement in innovation: UC Davis professor R. Paul Singh has been named the 2015 World Agriculture Prize laureate. Among his accomplishments? The creation of a food-processing system for a NASA’s mission to Mars. Singh’s work bridges food science/technology and biological/agricultural engineering. Katie L. Strong (@katlelstrong) profiles Singh and his work in a piece for The Sacramento Bee. #GlobalFood


Research. A conflict of interest? Should companies like Coca-Cola fund anti-obesity research? Claire Suddath (@clairesuddath) explores the complex issue of how industry influences research; the piece has broad implications. From Bloomberg Business. Other research: Even light and moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (defined as up to one drink a day for women and two a day for men) might increase the risk of cancer, per two large U.S. studies. BBC News health editor Michelle Roberts reports. From Fast Company: How smarter school architecture can help kids eat healthier food. From the cafeteria to the garden, a rural Virginia school got a redesign to tackle childhood obesity. Architects worked with public health researchers. #goodread.


Helping others. Thirty years ago, musician Willie Nelson joined forces with John (Cougar) Mellencamp and Neil Young to offer a fundraising concert to help family farmers. Farm Aid was born. As the event celebrates its 30th anniversary, Andrew Amelinckx (@TheAmelinckx) looks back at what its done for farmers…and how it continues to serve. This piece appears in Modern Farmer. A #longread and a good one.  In Washington, D.C., Martha’s Table provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income residents through pop-up farmers markets. Christine Ayala (@christine_ayala) reports for The Washington Post.


Resource available: Calling all culinary historians, food writers and others interested in primary sources. The Manuscript Cookbooks survey website has a database of pre-1865 English-language manuscript cookbooks available. The site also has a nice blog (we wish there were even more entries…fabulous subjects and writing!) and an adapted recipes section (it’s great). The glossary is a superb tool for food historians and those interested in foodways. Thanks to Bill Keogan (@BillKeogan) for the tip.


We hope you have a great day.