02 Feb

Some Restaurateurs Are Building Better Benefits Into Food Jobs

“The Plate,” National Geographic • Feb. 2, 2016

The eggs and flour at Rose’s Fine Food, a diner on Detroit’s deep east side, are local. The bread and mustard, the donuts and pickles and beets, are all made in-house. The lunch menu offers a $13.75 rabbit sandwich; the chef apprenticed at San Francisco’s famed Tartine bakery; and there is a well-worn Ottolenghi book among the stack of cookbooks displayed on a kitchen shelf. In this, Rose’s is unmistakably a trendy kind of place.

But Rose’s is also becoming known for a new kind of trend: Paying restaurant workers a decent wage and offering opportunity for advancement. …more…

02 Feb

‘Forked’ Rates Restaurants On How They Treat Their Workers

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Feb. 2, 2016

Saru Jayaraman may be restaurant obsessed, but don’t call her a foodie. She’s the founding director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national organization that advocates for better wages and working conditions for restaurant workers. She’s also published several studies in legal and policy journals as director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley.

The combination of grassroots and ivory tower makes Jayaraman arguably one of the country’s leading experts on what it’s like to live as a restaurant worker in America. She’s someone celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer turned to as he decided to banish tipping at some of his restaurants to try and close the pay gap between what his servers and dishwashers make. …more…

29 Jan

Activists Demand A Bill Of Rights For California Farm Workers

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Jan. 29, 2016

Farm workers in two of the nation’s most important agricultural counties joined other low-wage food sector workers on Wednesday, demanding better wages with a new Bill of Rights. …more…

01 Jan

Labor Gains: Tracing the History of the Fair-Food Movement

Modern Farmer • Winter 2016

En español aquí

When Julia de la Cruz moved to the United States in 2006, she landed, as many migrants do, in a farm field. The Mexican native, who had chosen Florida because of the state’s long growing season and copious employment opportunities, found a job picking tomatoes outside a small town called Immokalee (rhymes with “broccoli”).

Long known for its harsh working conditions, Immokalee featured prominently in Edward R. Murrow’s iconic 1960 exposé, Harvest of Shame. Even in the 1980s, says Janice Fine, an associate professor of labor relations at Rutgers University, “it was the closest thing possible to hell on earth.” No one would have expected Immokalee to offer an answer to the age-old agricultural conundrum of how to balance the demand for cheap food with the need to treat farmworkers humanely. But that’s exactly the problem the town’s tomato pickers have solved. …more…

01 Jan

Victorias para el trabajador

Rancho Moderno  • Invierno 2016

Traducción de CIW
Artículo en Inglés aquí

Al mudarse Julia de la Cruz a los Estados Unidos en el 2006 ella llegó a trabajar al campo al igual que muchos migrantes lo hacen. Ella escogió llegar a la Florida debido a las largas temporadas y abundantes oportunidades de encontrar trabajo, así fue como empezó a trabajar piscando tomates a las afueras de un pueblito llamado Immokalee.

Immokalee es reconocido por las abusivas condiciones para sus trabajadores, tal como lo expuso al público el documental Harvest of Shame del 1960 con Edward R. Murrow. Según la profesora de relaciones laborales de la Universidad de Rutgers Janice Fine, incluso en los años 80 “era lo más parecido al infierno que existía en la tierra.” Nadie se hubiese esperado que este Immokalee fuera a producir una solución para la contradicción en la agricultura de querer producir comida barata sin maltratar a los trabajadores agrícolas. Sin embargo, esto es exactamente lo que hicieron los trabajadores piscadores de tomate de Immokalee. …more…

08 Nov

How Obama’s Trade Deal Might Stir Up Your Dinner

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Nov. 8, 2015

When President Obama announced the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday — and released them on Medium.com — there was a lot of talk about labor, the environment and manufacturing. But trade deals have a way of changing the way we eat, too. …more…

13 Oct

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Oct. 13, 2015

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart trumpeted that it had beaten a goal it set five years ago: to open at least 275 stores in food deserts by 2016. That targeted expansion into “neighborhoods without access to fresh affordable groceries” came as part of the retailer’s “healthier food initiative,” lauded by — and launched with — First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011. Wal-Marts have been popping up in lower-income urban areas where grocery stores are scarce ever since.

But new research suggests that plugging food access holes with big box stores may not lead to healthier habits. According to a study just published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Americans’ junk food calories increasingly come from big box stores rather than traditional grocers. …more…

19 Sep

The U.S. Doesn’t Have Enough Of The Vegetables We’re Supposed To Eat

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Sept. 19, 2015

If you are looking for proof that Americans’ vegetable habits lean towards french fries and ketchup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has it: Nearly 50 percent of vegetables and legumes available in the U.S. in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes. Lettuce came in third as the most available vegetable, according to new data out this week. …more…

15 Sep

Turn Food Waste Into Ice Cream for Fun and Profit

“The Plate,” National Geographic • Sept. 15, 2015

When Obama administration officials announce the nation’s first-ever goals for reducing wasted food Wednesday morning, most people probably think of donating surplus food to charity. But a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Cabrini College suggests that part of the solution might be a little more tasty—and profitable: House-made ice cream, freshly fried veggie chips, and smoothies. …more…

26 Aug

Why Thick Flour Tortillas Never Made It Big And Thin Tortillas Did

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Aug. 26, 2015

Janet Stein Romero of El Ancon, New Mexico, shapes the dough before rolling out flour tortillas.

Janet Stein Romero of El Ancon, New Mexico, shapes the dough before rolling out flour tortillas. (Tracie McMillan for NPR)

About 16 years ago, I lost my hungry heart to a flour tortilla. I was in the small town of Las Vegas N.M., at Charlie’s Spic & Span Café, when a server placed a basket on the table. Inside was a stack of thick, charmingly floppy tortillas, dotted with browned bubbles and closer in thickness to pancakes than the wan, flaccid discs I was used to at the supermarket. My Brooklyn-by-way-of-Michigan palate was infatuated: What magic was this? How could I not have known that tortillas like these existed? …more…