Good morning! Here’s a brief wrap of some important stories as you start your day. A reminder: the UC Food Observer will be skipping the Friday and Monday wrap as we enjoy a long weekend filled with family, friends…and food.
Bad egg? Emails obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) show that a government backed egg lobby tried to derail Hampton Creek. Hampton Creek is a Silicon Valley company that has created a plant-based egg alternative and the popular Just Mayo product. A USDA official appears to have participated. Three pieces on this very important story. Public health lawyer Michele R. Simon (@MicheleRSimon) provides an in-depth analysis for her Eat Drink Politics blog. Sam Thielman (@samthielman) and Dominic Rushe (@dominicru) report for The Guardian. Some additional background: In August, the FDA ruled that Just Mayo could not be called mayonnaise since it does not contain eggs. Read this Washington Post article by Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) and Brady Dennis (@brady_dennis) for the full story.
Two is better than one: organic tequila stories. Mexican growers are hoping to give Chinese consumers a shot of organic tequila. An absolutely fascinating story by Jason Margolis (@JasonMargolis) for PRI’s The World. You’ll meet Adolfo Murillo, a University of California PhD and creator of an award-winning tequila brand, Alquimia. Margolis consulted with Ted Genoways’ (@TedGenoways) for this piece. Also: be sure to read Genoways’ stunning piece: The Heart of Agave. It appears in Mother Jones. Stellar.
Challenges facing farmers and farm workers. Bees: The California drought is forcing many beekeepers and their colonies from the state. Ezra David Romero (@ezraromero) reports for Valley Public Radio. Water: Clean water rules mean tough choices for some small farmers. Mitch Wertlieb (@mwertlieb) for Vermont Public Radio. Fire preparedness and safety: ICYMI, wildfires in the Western U.S. reveal gaps in emergency planning for thousands of migrant farm workers. Rowan Moore Gerety (@rowanmg) reports for Northwest Public Radio (out of Washington State University).
Innovation: From dock to dish. A new “restaurant-supported fishery” model connects chefs to local fisherman. An absolutely wonderful story about an innovative program: Dock to Dish. Reported by Clare Leschin-Hoar (@c_leschin). It appears on NPR’s The Salt.
Culture. Cooking school: A French cooking school for women who are immigrants or the children of immigrants is changing lives. Mary Hawthorne for The New Yorker. I was glad I read this. Chinese food: The team at Gastropod produces another winner: The United States of Chinese Food. If you’re new to Gastropod (@Gastropodcast), be prepared for an exquisite and tasteful experience learning about the world of food through the lens of science and history. Cynthia Graber (@cagraber) and Nicola Twilley (@nicolatwilley) co-host. Mythical menus: What to Eat In Atlantis: five menus for five mythical cities. Nevin Martell (@NevinMartell) for Nautilus. Incredibly clever and wonderful. If you’re looking for a good read and some new recipes to try this weekend, the UC Food Observer also suggests Martell’s The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & Drink.
Since a long weekend is for #longreads…ICYMI, our Q&A with organics policy guru Mark Lipson. Mark recently shared these thoughts with us about young farmers and the organic movement. “In short, the continuation and evolution of organic agriculture belongs to young producers, but they need to understand and not dismiss it as being something taken over by big corporations and government. Young producers have responsibility for what it becomes. Our generation has to do some letting go. We need to be actively encouraging that transition of leadership and identity.”
Have a great weekend. We’ll see you Tuesday!