Excerpt from Eater’s 72 Ways Food Can Change the World, published September 2014:
Too often, food lovers focus on the environmental impact of their meals-they consider carbon footprint, not the aching feet that worked 12 hours in a field to pick a local strawberry or the minimum wage worker that diced that precious berry.
But the food manufacturing industry is among the largest employers in the United States. More than seventeen million people make their living growing, preparing, or serving food. Too often those people don’t earn a living wage or aren’t afforded benefits necessary to live a dignified life.
In order to create sustaining livelihoods, we need to invest in the workforce that feeds us: providing a living wage can only translate to better food and happier, healthier neighbors in the long term. For employers, this means putting dollars back into the pockets of their employees; for consumers, this means adjusting to the true price of quality food.
Knowing where the ingredients of our food come from is critical, but I want to challenge consumers to ask who handled those ingredients and recognize the critical role that food workers play in creating quality products.
– Jessamyn Rodriguez