Good morning. We hope that you had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday. On today’s menu? Some pieces we digested over the long weekend. Hope you enjoy!


Love at first bite? Do our food preferences derive from nature or environment? NPR’s Scott Simon interviews British food writer Bee Wilson about her new book “First Bite: How We Learn To Eat,” which explores how we develop our food tastes. A couple of good takeaways? Wilson says the primary way that we learn to like food is through exposure…”but there’s a second condition. We have to be exposed to them [foods] without feeling any sense of coercion.” Wilson offered a piece of advice we took to heart, involving a hypothetical choice between chocolate cake and quinoa: “…just eat cake and be done with it. And then have a separate meal of quinoa.” You can listen to or read the interview (we did both).


Southern Soul. Andrea King Collier has written a terrific piece about seven must-have cookbooks that feature the flavors and heritage of the South. You’ll want to add these to your collection and share them with others. For NBC News.


Who is keeping organic food honest? Consumption of organic food is increasing in the U.S. Are formal (regulatory) structures enough to instill trust in consumers, or are other informal factors important? Per author/researcher Liz Carlisle, the informal network that farmers form among themselves “may be more important than federal regulation in building trust in the organic industry — and it needs greater support.” This terrifically interesting piece appears in Ensia as part of a collaboration with Elementa, an academic journal. It is part of a New Pathways to Sustainability in Agroecological Systems forum (definitely worth checking out).

Carlisle also recently co-authored Investing in the transition to sustainable agriculture, a study that highlights the need for the USDA to invest more money in agroecology research. It appears in the January issue of Environmental Science and PolicyYou can learn more about Carlisle’s book – Lentil Underground – by reading our Q&A.


A food-based education. We were delighted to open our print version of the Los Angeles Times on Thanksgiving Day and find this piece on the front page. It’s a #longread about the increasing number of food-related degree programs and courses being offered at U.S. colleges and universities in response to society’s growing interest in all things food. The article – written by Larry Gordon, who covers higher education – explores work being done at the University of California (on multiple campuses). That work is part of UC’s Global Food Initiative (GFI), which seeks to address one of the most compelling issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a growing world population. This is great stuff.

Five ways to start eating insects. In many parts of the world, insects are part of the diet. Are crickets, mealworms and ants in our sustainable eating future? If you’re curious, here are five easy ways to get started. This smart piece was written by Emily Matchar for Suggestions 2 and 4 – Anty Gin and cricket cookies – seemed the most palatable to us. Definitely a New Year’s resolution.

Have a great day!