UC Food Observer chooses a handful of important stories for you to read as you finish your work week. On the menu, in no particular order: animal welfare; a student conference on food justice; food and faith; a “State of Food” thought piece; low income students; and an announcement about an “Edible Education” opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

1. Animal welfare issues alleged at a U.S. meat research center in Nebraska. An in-depth investigative piece by Pulitzer prize winning author Michael Moss appears in this week’s New York Times. A disturbing, must-read piece that will stay with you.

2. Food justice is the focus of California higher ed summit. Learn more about an inaugural California Higher Education Food Summit (#CAHEFS2015), organized by the University of California, Santa Barbara. It drew more than 150 students, staff and faculty from UC, California State University and California community colleges to the campus over the Martin Luther King Day weekend.

3. The Church of Latter-Day Saints quietly operates a large network of farms and food processing and distribution facilities in the Western U.S. as part of its effort to feed the hungry. It is one of the largest private welfare systems in the U.S. Civil Eats reports.

4. Chef/activist/author Mark Bittman opines on the “State of Food.” A terrific thought piece from the Washington Post.

5. Low-income students are now a majority in U.S. public schools. A report issued by the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) indicates that 51% of American public school students are now eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, one indicator of the nation’s growing challenge battling childhood poverty.


And looking ahead to next week, click here to learn more about a live stream “Edible Education 101” course that you won’t want to miss. Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and others are partnering with the University of California Berkeley Food Institute to bring this program free-of-charge on Monday evenings beginning January 26th. There are affiliated events that are open to the public beginning next week and through much of April. Stay tuned.