The UC Food Observer chooses a handful of important stories for you to read as you end your work week.

On the menu, in no particular order:

1. Sick chicks and the future of poultry in America: An outbreak of avian influenza has disrupted the U.S. poultry industry. UC Food Observer intern Katja Jylkka puts the outbreak in perspective, highlighting research by UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension.

2. Q&A with Alice Waters: Chez Panisse chef and owner Alice Waters (@AliceWaters) talks about the meal that changed her life in an interview with UC Santa Cruz Review. Read the Q&A.

3. Building an oasis in an urban food desert: If you stock it, they will come. That’s the mantra of Jeff Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores. The small supermarket chain has found a niche by opening stores in underserved, low-income neighborhoods of Philadelphia, giving these communities a place to get nutritious food, health services and jobs. Paul Solman (@paulsolman) reports for PBS NewsHour.

4. Trans fat tussle: The food industry is asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve continued use of trans fats in some consumer products, ranging from pie crust mixes, to cookies, to marinated artichoke hearts, in the face of the Obama administration’s crackdown on the substance. Helena Bottemiller Evich (@hbottemiller) details the debate in Politico.

5. Redesigning crops for the 21st century: The world may need to double its food supply by 2050, and scientists have proposed a major genetic engineering program to make it happen. Pacific Standard provides a look at the proposal, led by University of Illinois and USDA plant biologist Donald Ort, to redesign photosynthesis.

6. Food preacher: CNN’s Culinary Journeys profiles chef Edward Kwon (@chefedwardkwon) and his quest to globalize Korean food. See coverage.

7. ICYMI … Bittman on bees: Watch the latest in the California Matters video series from Mark Bittman, via the University of California’s Global Food Initiative and Berkeley Food Institute. He interviews UC Berkeley conservation biologist Claire Kremen about the importance of pollinators to the food system. Read Bittman’s column on the topic in The New York Times.