Hope you are having a good day…time to take a break and bite into some tasty news!


Millennials are driving an $18 billion food revolution. A panel of experts gathered at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women summit; they say millennials are turning the food industry on its head. “Millennials are driving a disruption in the food industry,” she [Julie Smolyansky] said. A desire for transparency is one of the values driving change. Read more, in this article from Fortune written by Polina Marinova. It’s a short read and well worth it.


How will avian influenza affect backyard poultry? In an historic outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) last spring, more than 48 million birds died in 15 Midwestern states. The outbreak already has the dubious honor of being the largest recorded in U.S. history. Warm weather saw a reduction in influenza, but experts warn that a new flu season is right around the corner. Much of the reporting on avian influenza has focused on commercial flocks. But with the growth in urban and suburban households keeping backyard flocks, questions are being raised about the impact on backyard birds. Are outdoor birds at a higher risk of developing the disease? Kristen Schmitt pens an interesting piece for Civil Eats; it’s is one of the day’s must reads. For additional information about the outbreak, read Katja Jylkka’s piece, which appeared in the UC Food Observer.


The big loser. The story of how one of America’s most overweight cities lost a million pounds. The Atlantic takes you to Oklahoma City, where the mayor has declared a war on obesity. How is the battle being waged? Persuasion, rather than coercion. An unexpected story. Extraordinarily #goodread by Ian Birrell.


Farmerettes. We are huge fans of the Tropics of Meta, which provides top-notch writing about historical topics (they refer to this as “historiography for the masses”). One of our favorite writers there is Ryan Reft, a superb . He’s recently written an outstanding piece on the work of the Woman’s Land Army (WLA) during World War I for KCET. The farmerettes, as they were called, made enormous contributions to the agricultural efforts on the home front…and also used their work to press for suffrage. Full disclosure: Reft references the work of UC Food Observer editor Rose Hayden-Smith, whose book, Sowing the Seeds of Victory: American Gardening Programs of World War I, devotes a chapter to this interesting program. Because #historymatters.


‘Tis the political season…why not have a food policy questionnaire for candidates? We really enjoyed this piece by Don Carr, which appears on The Republic of Awesome. We watched the Democratic debate on CNN, and regret that there weren’t more (actually, any?) questions like this. Our favorites? “The White House Garden has been a potent symbol for the Obama administration. Would you keep it? Would you change it?” h/t Nathanael Johnson. P.S. To learn more about the White House Garden, check out this Q&A with Roger Doiron of Kitchen Gardeners International, whose advocacy for a White House Garden during the 2008 campaign certainly made a difference.


See you tomorrow!