The UC Food Observer chooses some important stories for you to read each work day.

On today’s menu, in no particular order:

1. ‘Good food’ vs. ‘big food’: Food and beverage powerhouses spend big money on lobbying. Companies like Chipotle and Whole Foods don’t. Helena Bottemiller Evich (@hbottemiller) writes about the consequences on Capitol Hill in Politico.

2. Happy chickens: California has happy cows. Perdue Farms wants to be known for happy birds. The company is sharply cutting its antibiotic use in chickens and taking jabs at its rivals in the meantime, writes Stephanie Strom (@ssstrom) in The New York Times.

3. Salad Bowl at crossroads: California’s Salinas Valley is known as the Salad Bowl of the World. But who benefits from the bounty of its berries and leafy greens? Salinas might be the “richest poor city in California,” writes Joe Mathews in the San Francisco Chronicle, in a piece that highlights the challenges the city faces and why we should care. Some in Salinas are trying to capitalize on its proximity to Silicon Valley, positioning the Salinas Valley as the hub of a potential ag tech boom. Read more by Krista Almanzan for KQED’s California Report.

4. California farmers aren’t the only ones in the West worried about water. Colorado farmers are shifting toward greater efficiency, replacing ditch-and-flood irrigation with center-pivot sprinklers and tubes that emit tiny drops. Colorado officials say they’re counting on such increased efficiency and conservation as the state readies for an increase in people and industry — with a projected annual shortfall of 163 billion gallons, writes Bruce Finley (@finleybruce) in The Denver Post. Speaking of California, check out Care2’s list of seven things that might surprise you about California’s drought and an MSNBC interview with Jay Famiglietti of UC Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory about creative drought solutions.

5. Milan Expo: The international exposition puts food in the spotlight with its theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” But the expo’s big price tag and food choices have raised concerns. Read two critical takes: Alon Tal in The Huffington Post and David Watts Barton in The Sacramento Bee.

6. Picky eaters: Children’s picky eating may not be as harmless as is commonly believed. A new study found that moderate and severe cases of selective eating were associated with elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression in later years. Read more by Sumathi Reddy (@rddysum) in The Wall Street Journal.