Happy Monday!

In Southern California, it feels more like summer than winter and we’re worried about what the Santa Ana winds are doing to the region’s crops.

On the menu, in no particular order:


Reboot to ag tech: Salinas has a big goal: to become the “agricultural technology center of California.” Among those driving the effort are the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster and the Western Growers Association Center for Innovation and Technology. Hartnell College and Cal State Monterey Bay are also in the mix. All see in the region an opportunity for “data-driven” farming (aka “precision agriculture”) incubators to take hold. At the Western Growers Center, ten ag start-ups have moved in…including some focused on “drone and satellite-based imaging, soil sensors, solar energy controls, app-based data management and other tools…” The efforts are providing educational and career opportunities in computer science/technology for the children of farmworkers. This piece really digs into issues of labor, wages and the demographics of a community whose economic engine is agriculture. An absolutely stellar piece by Geoffrey Mohan. Appearing in The Los Angeles Times.


From orchard to campus, tackling ag/food literacy. Read this original UC Food Observer piece to learn more about ag/food literacy efforts across the state…and why this work is so vitally needed. #GlobalFood


ICYMI: Why we eat so much. The aftermath of Super Bowl/Puppy Bowl weekend has us rethinking some of our food choices. Just in time, two pieces that helped enlighten us.

Roberto Ferdman for the Washington Post’s WonkblogA great piece summarizing research about eating. A few key points: our bodies aren’t actually that good at telling us when to stop eating. A fairly amazing variety of factors impact our eating habits, including social settings, plate size, memory and more. Food environment – including convenience – is key…if it’s available and in sight, you’re likely to eat more. This piece also provides some excellent strategies that can help you eat less. A really #goodread.

And this: The end of the calorie, from Gastropod. If you’re new to Gastropod, be ready for a thoughtful experience learning about the world of food through the lens of science and history. The site features excellent visual curation, superb writing and a fine podcast (this episode is about 47 minutes in length). Guests include Marion Nestle. Come hungry…you’ll want to savor every bite! Cynthia Graber (@cagraber) and Nicola Twilley co-host.


Check in tomorrow for part one of our interview with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, who shares insights with us about global food security and more.


Have a great day!