July 2017 @ our summertime haunts
Our summer reading includes Mark Bittman's new weekly column at grubstreet.com. His thoughts on foodies in The New Foodieism felt like a vision statement for what we are working on at The Seattle Digest. Here's an excerpt.
These are food issues. Six of the eight worst-paying jobs in the U.S. involve food. When “foodies” (I don’t mind the term, but it’s gotta mean more than talking about eating) address these issues in the food community, directly or indirectly, we do work that helps everyone. To be a foodie now is to know that we must protect the rights of farm workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, immigrants, anyone who is harassed at work and/or at home (mostly women), and laborers who make minimum wage or less, often without benefits.
The work of real foodies includes farming, battling for universal free (and good) school lunches, struggling to close CAFOs, increasing access to fruits and vegetables, reclaiming land from monoculture, and way more.
We have to discuss diet, environmental, and farming issues. We have to address these issues in the context of making sure all people can afford good food, as well as in the contexts of public health, general well-being, and the means to care for the earth. Better wages are essential, but let’s include income inequality, guaranteed basic income, and a no-questions-asked safety net in the conversation.
This is all interrelated. You can’t address nutrition issues without addressing agriculture, because as long as there’s monoculture, there will be junk food. And you can’t fix agriculture without addressing immigration and labor. You can’t fix immigration and labor inequality without empowering women and so-called minorities, or without rationalizing both energy and agriculture.