Shorter wrap today. I’ve been on the road to New England, where I visited some gardens, gave a talk and ended up at a New Hampshire Farm. I hope you’ll read my piece about this trip, and the value of local food, storytelling and relationships: And She Is Deeply Fed.


Research: U.S. farms are becoming less diverse. Civil Eats provides some excellent coverage of a research finding that the diversity of U.S. crops has declined. The study was published in PLOS ONE last month; the research was conducted by the USDA, Kansas State University and North Dakota State University. Jennifer Balmer reporting.


Animal agriculture. A wealth of #goodreads this week. Americans are starting to reduce their meat consumption. Farmers and ranchers are responding to a changing market by raising meat with the health-conscious in mind. This week, Harvest Public Media offers a series, Choice Cuts: Meat In America, which examines how the meat industry is changing the U.S. diet…and the food system. First installment here. Another fantastic dive into the topic is presented in today’s Civil Eats Editor’s Note, by Naomi Starkman. Starkman discusses various animal agriculture issues and links to work Civil Eats has published on these topics. This is an incredibly timely and helpful resource. Absolutely worth a dive in. As she notes, “Whether we choose to eat meat or not, we all play a part in the larger conversation and can make informed choices to help create a better food system.”


ICYMI, the soda industry struggles as consumer tastes change. Soda sales in the U.S. have declined precipitously in the last twenty years. While soda companies have successfully fought against policies like soda taxes (in some places), anti-obesity advocates have been able to sway public opinion. Margot Sanger Katz writes for The New York Times. Shorter? Soda companies may be winning the battle…but they are losing the war. #goodread


More grocery store shakeups in So Cal?  Less than two weeks ago, grocer Haggen announced it would shutter all its stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. Now, Gelson’s and Smart & Final have expressed interest in buying some of those stores (36 in total, between the two chains). Samantha Masunaga reports for the Los Angeles Times.


I’ll be on the road more this week and next, visiting Sacramento, Portland and the Willamette Valley and ending up at UC Berkeley at the end of next week. I’ll be sure to share a story or two from each place.

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