Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You Eat Ethically... Right?


Ancient aliens religious figures were very concerned about how and what we eat. Cannibalism was a real no-no-- and neither Jews nor Muslims are allowed to eat pigs, shellfish or amphibians. And then there's the whole thing about kosher and halal coming from ancient times. Both observant Jews and Muslims are only allowed to eat meat from animals slaughtered according to rituals that involve using a sharp knife that in a single cut across the throat severs the carotid arteries, jugular veins, trachea and esophagus and both religions have lists of food that they consider "unclean." Both religions insist that all utensils and kitchens used to prepare food must also be deemed as halal or kosher.

Times have changed, though, at least for most of the world and ethical eating has evolved as well. And still is. Maybe you've heard about a new project by the AFL-CIO that features a book, Beyond The Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman.
From locally grown, organic greens to grass-fed beef, we care about the food that comes out of the kitchen-- but what about the workers who chop, grill, sauté and serve our food? Today, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite its size and growth, the industry suffers from pervasively low wages, wage theft, nonexistent benefits, rampant discrimination and often dangerous or unhealthy working conditions.

...It’s no coincidence that seven of the 10 lowest-paying jobs in America are in the restaurant industry, 90 percent of restaurant workers lack paid sick days and only .01 percent are represented by a union. Workers represented by unions, on average, are paid 20 percent higher wages than nonunion workers and are more likely to have paid leave and a secure retirement. Despite facing many barriers, restaurant workers across the country are building awareness among consumers and organizing to improve their working conditions.
As one Washington, D.C., restaurant worker quoted in the book, says:
"Customers always ask us if this dish is organic or local, thinking that is what will ensure that they are having a healthy meal, a meal they can feel good about but if they knew about what workers were dealing with…working with the flu, tips and wage being stolen by the owner, getting screamed at and abused by managers, being called racial slurs, getting groped by male workers-- they would think twice about the quality of their food."

Take a look at the video above. It might make you think more closely about eating out next time.

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At 4:36 PM, Blogger offlogic said...

Where do any of the "Books" say anything about cannibalism being wrong?


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