When Eric Schlosser pitched Fast Food Nation to publishers in 1999, they balked. No one would buy a food book that didn’t include recipes, they said.
Schlosser eventually found a publisher willing to take the leap and today, 15 years and more than two million copies later, Fast Food Nation has proven that there’s an appetite for powerful investigative reporting about the journey our food takes to get to our plates. Read more
On Tuesday, fast food workers went on strike in hundreds of U.S. cities, calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to organize. Striking workers and their supporters aim to make this issue a political priority for the 2016 presidential election. Read more
For the first time since 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the pesticide protections it requires for the more than two million people who plant and harvest our food. The new protections, which will go into effect in early 2017, could be a game-changer for American farms and workers. Read more
This week, Ahold USA, the parent company of supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, Martin’s, and online grocer Peapod, became the first mainstream American food retailer to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) Fair Food Program. Read more
A new message appearing at the top of the menu at Camino, a high-end restaurant in Oakland, California, declares the end of an age-old American practice. “No more tips!” it reads. “Our prices now include service so we can pay our employees a living wage.” Read more
Walmart announced yesterday that, beginning July 1, it will improve worker conditions by better regulating the temperature inside its stores, replacing Celine Dion’s greatest hits with a corporate DJ, and allowing associates to wear jeans to work. Walmart will also be bringing back the slogan: “Our people make the difference.” Read more
The next time you sit down to eat, consider the fact that children may have harvested or helped produce the food on your plate. In fact, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 16 work on U.S. farms every year. In 2012, it was nearly 260,000, a number some experts believe to be an undercount. Read more
Update: A month after this story ran, Ben and Jerry’s agreed to negotiate with Migrant Justice.
In 2009, José Obeth Santiz Cruz, a 20 year-old farmworker from Chiapas, Mexico, had a fatal accident on a small dairy farm in Vermont. Cruz was working on his knees near a gutter scraper–a conveyor belt that pushes manure into a pit–when his clothing got caught, and he was strangled. Read more
Can a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription service help more small farms survive in today’s consolidated food landscape? In 2014, economic researcher Mark Paul conducted in-person interviews with 16 Massachusetts farmers for Ecotrust and E3 Network’s Future Economy Initiative. The area where Paul did the research, called the Pioneer Valley, was home to one of the first two CSA businesses in the United States, founded in 1986. Now, it’s the epicenter for a new wave of CSA activity and can shed valuable light on the industry as a whole. Read more
It may seems like the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend the best combination of protein, grains, and produce, to keep you healthy, fit, and free of disease, are set in stone. But they’re actually revised every five years by a panel of nutrition scientists—and because the guidelines impact billion-dollar government programs like school and military lunches as well as consumer guidelines like the food pyramid, or the more recent MyPlate, updating them is a highly politicized process. Read more