Each Sunday, the FWF team selects the most inspiring, enlightening, and fascinating stories from the previous week. Spend your day of rest reading some exceptional food journalism.

Shut Up and Eat [via The New Yorker]

When did food become a means of self-definition? “Once upon a time, food was about where you came from. People have come to use food to express and to define their sense of who they are,” writes John Lanchester. The former Observer and Guardian restaurant critic argues that our collective food obsession has gotten out of hand. He makes a pretty solid argument.—Erin Mosbaugh

The Spaghetti Incident [via Medium]

Here is an extremely detailed break-down of the Olive Garden dining experience as it relates to the chain’s much-publicized cost-cutting techniques, like limiting the number of breadsticks per table and not salting its pasta water. Just read.—Chris Schonberger

The Decline of California Agriculture Has Begun [via Slate]

California is in the middle of its hottest and driest three years in recorded history. “If there’s one thing that struck me during my monthlong drought-themed road trip through the American West earlier this year, it was the colossal scale of agriculture in California’s Central Valley. Now it seems there’s nowhere to go but down,” writes Eric Holthaus. The photographs in this story are both beautiful and terrifying.Erin Mosbaugh

What is happening to our pastry? [via The New Yorker]

For the New Yorker‘s brilliant new Food Issue, Adam Gopnik takes a look at City Bakery entrepreneur Maury Rubin’s pretzel croissant and Dominique Ansel’s Cronut—arguably, New York’s two most famous pastries. Rubin disses Ansel, saying that his traditional croissants (pre-Cronut) were lacking. Rubin says, “When the Cronut became a thing, I just thought, Oh, my God, that’s perfect! His croissant sucked, so he threw it in oil. And I think, Brilliant!” Ouch.—Erin Mosbaugh