Good morning. We hope that you are having a great day. On the menu:

Free online cooking and nutrition classes can improve “eating behaviors and meal composition.” A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity reports on the “effectiveness of a massive open online course (MOOC), offering integrated nutrition and cooking instruction”. The goal? improving eating behaviors and “meal composition” among course participants. Conclusions? Free, flexible and with the “potential to catalyze powerful behavioral shifts.” h/t Michael Pollan.

Two pieces about China:

Would you like your meat well traveled or cloned? Food choices are getting more complicated. This piece contains great information about beef demand in China. Short, smart read by Suzanne Jacobs; it appears in Grist.

Meet the woman leading China’s new organic farming army. ICYMI, an excellent read by Katrina Yu for Aljazeera. It relates the story of Shi Yan, founder of Shared Harvest farms. A completely organic operation, Shared Harvest was also one of China’s first CSAs (community supported agriculture).

How Chicago’s slaughterhouse spectacles paved the way for big meat. An absolutely fascinating piece about the development of America’s industrialized food system. Anne Bramley interviews Dominic A. Pacyga about his new book, Slaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard And The World It Made. Chicago’s Union Stock Yard opened 150 years ago and used an industrial model to process animals. At the height of operations, the “kill floors” employed 50,000 workers. The enterprise became one of Chicago’s largest tourist attractions; by 1900, around 500,000 people a year were visiting the stock yard and packing houses.

Food Podcasts 1.0: These radio pioneers had it down 90 years ago. Radio was an important educational tool in rural communities. In the early to mid-20th century, a number of women hosted “folksy” radio broadcasts. Some shows were sponsored by Extension organizations, others by businesses. The shows provided recipes, and support to farm wives…and the hosts sometimes broadcast from their kitchen tables. Evelyn Birkby was one of those radio pioneers; she speaks to Anne Bramley for NPR’s Food for Thought. An excellent read.

Have a great weekend. We’ll see you Monday.