It’s Friday afternoon, and that means it’s time for me to give you a little weekend reading from around the web. Here are a few food related items that I thought might interest you.

This Sunday night, 60 Minutes will air an interview with Alice Waters. I know I’ll be tuning in. The piece was filmed at Slow Food Nation over this past Labor Day weekend, an event that Waters helped to found.

The New York Times reports that there just might be something that Democrats and Republicans are willing to work together on – food safety.

A parade of Democratic and Republican lawmakers promised at a House hearing on Wednesday that they would work to pass a broad array of changes in the nation’s food safety system, although they disagreed on crucial details.

Among the sharpest areas of disagreement are whether to split the Food and Drug Administration into two agencies and whether to finance increased safety inspections through fees on industry or through general appropriations.

Click here to read the full story.

The other day I wrote about some of the things you can do to lend a helping hand by getting healthy, local foods to those who can’t afford it for themselves, and one of the suggestions was start a community harvesting program. The LA Times reports that one man has done just that.

When Rick Nahmias walked his dog, he would often see fruit trees that no one tended. "Ninety percent of it falls on the ground, goes to squirrels, rats," he said.

And an idea was born: For a few weekends he got some people together, they picked the fruit and gave it to SOVA, a Jewish Family Service organization that runs three food pantries.

But the simmering idea behind the small harvests was "the Big Pick," and on Sunday, dozens of volunteers went to work at an estate in Chatsworth and picked nearly 5,000 pounds of oranges from about 300 trees.

Click here to read the full story.

Time reports that eating less salt can have big health benefits.

Over the years, Americans have become inured to salt. Most people have no idea how much salt they consume — on average, about 9 to 12 g (or 3,600 to 4,800 mg of sodium) per person per day, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). That's twice the amount recommended by the government.

In the past four decades, Americans' salt consumption has risen 50%, mostly as a result of eating more processed foods and more food prepared in restaurants. "Over time, we have adapted our taste buds and adapted our bodies to crave much, much higher levels of salt than we require to function," says Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Click here to read the full story.

Image: Matt Callow

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