In my first article for Salon, I examine why so-called “foodies” seem to care more about how the food on their table has been treated than the workers who put it there.
Here’s an excerpt:
The food industry employs one in five private sector workers. Yet only an estimated 13 percent of those workers make a living wage. Thanks to lobbying by the National Restaurant Association (once led by Herman Cain), the national minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour. Many warehouse and farm workers are paid by the piece, which can amount to even less. And so, in a situation riddled with irony, food-system workers rely on food stamps at double the rate of rest of the U.S. workforce.
That’s right: That $22 dish of line-caught halibut with organic pea shoots and avocado gelée? The worker who washed the plate it’s on can’t afford to feed his family.
“We’ve always assumed that when we support organic farmers, we’re supporting people — not only taking care of the land but also taking care of the people who work the land,” says Alice Waters, the chef-owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., considered the fairy godmother of the foodie universe. But more and more, we’re seeing the fallacy of that assumption.
I hope you’ll read the whole piece, share it using the links on Salon’s site and pass it around. And I hope it influences your dining and consumer choices.
NEW YORK TIMES PROFILE
JOIN SALLY’S EMAIL LIST
FOR A GOOD TIME, FOLLOW
RUMORS ABOUT MELoading Quotes...
TV DOESN’T PAY THE BILLSMake a tax-deductible contribution via our fiscal sponsor, the Grassroots Policy Project
POPULAR TAGS2012 Election 2012 Elections barack obama budget capitalism civility Congress corporations debt deficit democrats economy feminism financial reform Fox News gay rights Glenn Beck government greed ideology inequality jobs marriage equality Mitt Romney Obama occupy wall st occupy wall street Paul Ryan popular education populism president obama progressive protests race racism Republicans Right wing sexism social movements strategy taxes Tea Party unions values Wall Street