The Hands That Feed Us: Do foodies care about workers?

If food lovers are serious about bettering the world, they should pay more attention to the people who serve them.
A scene from the new IFC show Portlandia.
They ask about the chicken on the menu, and about the hazelnuts the chicken ate.
The characters in the sketch never ask, “Does the poultry worker who killed the chicken get paid sick days?”

In fact, so-called foodies who are outraged at the idea of inhumanely raised pigs are remarkably uninterested in the inhumane work conditions of those who help get their pork to the table. Stopped at a farmers’ market or in line at a top restaurant, foodies are definitely concerned when told about the dismal treatment of food workers. But does it shape their buying habits? Not really. Responses range from “I’ve never really thought about it” to “At least they have jobs.”

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.
According to the report entitled ‘The Hands that Feed Us’ a vast majority of the workers earn incredibly low wages and they have little or no access to paid sick days and health benefits. Although there are some good jobs in the food system, eighty-six percent of the work force live in poverty and face high levels of food insecurity.

The Hands That Feed Us
Report by the Food Chain Workers Alliance




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