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. The nose knows. From our colleagues at UC Santa Barbara: collaboration among international scientists at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is helping to answer questions about our sense of smell. Julie Cohen reports.


2. Climate and conservation: two pieces. Are countries legally obligated to protect their citizens from climate change? The decision of a Dutch court may have implications for other nations. Sophia Schweitzer writes an important piece for Ensia. Thinking like a mountain: how Aldo Leopold came to conservationism. An excellent piece by Lance Richardson (@lancerichardson) for The Paris Review.


3. The other oil boom. A handful of savvy Texas farmers are pressing olives into agricultural service. A rollicking #goodread by James McWilliams (@the_pitchfork) for Texas Monthly.


4. Beer shortages loom in Venezuela. A shortage of barley and disputes between a corporation, the government and labor are cited as reasons. This is a fascinating piece that serves – in part – as a case study about Venezuela’s larger economic issues. Reported by the Associated Press; appearing in The Guardian.


5. Read our Q&A with LaManda Joy, founder of Chicago’s Peterson Garden Project (PGP). Inspired by World War II Victory Gardens, Joy created a non-profit to encourage and support community gardening efforts. Five years after PGP’s debut, the organization sponsors 1,200 plots at various sites…and has almost 4,000 active gardeners. Joy’s rallying cry “We can grow it!” recognizes the influence of the past while invigorating the American “can-do” spirit to create a positive future.


6. ICYMI…musicians find inspiration in California’s drought. Ezra David Romero (@ezraromero) for NPR’s Here and Now.


Have a great weekend.