Good afternoon! The UC Food Observer has been on the road the last week, enjoying food, family, friends and the great outdoors. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Truitt Family Foods in Salem, Oregon. I’ll be writing about that experience in the next couple of weeks.

It’s a short wrap today as I unpack (a suitcase and my inbox).  On the menu:


“…the ingenuity of the baby carrot…” For years, the UC Food Observer worked directly with students in gardening and food/nutrition programs. Among the most popular healthy snacks? Baby carrots. So it was wonderful to read this terrific piece by Rob Ferdman about the history of baby carrots, which account for nearly 70% of all carrot sales. An innovation introduced by Mike Yurosek – a California farmer – baby carrots have proven a marketing (and taste) sensation. The article appears in the Washington PostWonky and lively writing…an informative #goodread. Ever curious, the UC Food Observer found an online carrot museum curated by an individual in the U.K.; here’s the page about baby carrots.


Passing food (and farming) heritage to daughters. Rucha Chitnis has produced a compelling #photoessay about female producers in India’s state of Meghalaya for Yes! Magazine. There, a matrilineal system of land succession enables the youngest daughters in three groups (Khasi, Garo and Jaintia) to inherit the land. Women producers in the region are vital to preserving biodiversity and tradition, which is incredibly important as we adapt to climate change. “Women are conservers of seeds and know when each grain has to be sown,” said Patricia Mukhim, a prominent Khasi journalist and editor of The Shillong Times.”

If you want to dig deeper, the UC Food Observer found a dialogue piece that provides additional information. It’s entitled Gender concerns and food security in rice farming systems of north east India; it was written by Patricia Mukhim (she’s quoted above) in 2005. Much of what she wrote at that time still applies to women working in agriculture in various places around the globe. h/t to Audra Mulkern of the Female Farmer Project for introducing us to Chitnis’ work.



Q&A with Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs. “People think if you live in a rural community that there aren’t local food projects. There seems too often to be a very urban perspective to the food system. But there are still millions of people that live in rural America. They matter, too.” says Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate at Center for Rural Affairs. Traci spoke with the UC Food Observer about important issues that beginning, small and medium farmers are facing regarding agriculture consolidation, crop insurance and women in farming.


Have a great afternoon…we’ll see you tomorrow!