Amidst all the hard-to-read food news these days, there is one obvious silver lining: Young people everywhere are on fire with a desire to change the system. We’ve reported on the growing number of colleges and universities with degree programs and special food and agriculture-related courses popping up in recent years. Now, there’s a wave of young professionals pushing the food envelope.

Today, the University of California announced the recipients of its first Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Awards. According to U.C., these are “young pioneers and innovators trailblazing to solve the global food crisis by making extraordinary contributions in a wide array of food-related fields.”

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The hardest part of working on a book highlighting California coastal farmers? Whittling the list of potential subjects down to a dozen growers who shine on the edge of the Golden State.

In Farmsteads of the California Coast (Yellow Pear Press, April 18), photographer Erin Scott and writer Sarah Henry teamed up to do just that. The book introduces readers to greens growers, oystermen, berry farmers, coffee producers, and even water buffalo whisperers. Read more

Patrick Holden has been talking about the “true cost” of food for years. And while he has engaged activists, scientists, and academics from all over the world in his role as director of the UK-based Sustainable Food Trust (SFT), it is by no means a theoretical discussion for him.

Holden has also been a farmer since 1973, and his family raises dairy cows as part of a small and diverse organic farm in Wales. But, like many dairy farmers around the world, he can’t afford to sell his cows’ milk. Read more

There’s a lot of food news out there; here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week.

1. ‘Sugar Papers’ Show Industry’s Influence in 1970s Dental Program, Study Says (The California Report)

Hundreds of pages of newly-found documents show that the sugar industry worked closely with the federal government in the late 1960s and early 1970s to determine a research agenda to prevent cavities in children. Read more

Get caught up on some of the top food news of this week.

1. Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says (New York Times)

Just in case we didn’t already know that food waste was a huge international problem, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a daunting report this week that turns up the volume on the message. Read more

Busy? Let us help bring you up to date on this week’s food news.

1. Democratic Lawmakers Unveil Food Label Bill with ‘Top Chef’ Judge (The Hill)

On Thursday, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) reintroduced a federal bill that would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Read more

Here’s your recommended weekly allowance of food politics news.

1. One in Five U.S. Children Now Rely on Food Stamps: Census Data (Reuters)

According to federal census data, the number of children living in households that rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) jumped to 16 million last year, surpassing the number that was recorded before the recession. The data also revealed that 27 percent of the children in this country were living with single parents last year, and more than half of those were getting assistance. Read more

We’re wrapping up the week with the following food news from across the U.S.

1. U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit (New York Times)

About two hours outside of Omaha, Nebraska, lies the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, a hub under the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) whose purpose is to figure out how to make meat production more profitable for farmers. Read more