Today is a day to remember all the people and things for which we’re thankful, and we offer special thanks to those people who grow and harvest the food that we enjoy today and every day, and salute the farmers, ranchers, chefs, bakers, winemakers, and consumers who live the “good, clean, fair” philosophy and inspire others to do so.
Keeping in mind the “fair” component of Slow Food’s “good, clean, fair” philosophy, the California Food & Justice Coalition reminds us that while many celebrate the bounty of the season, for others the season brings other issues into sharp relief. From their November newsletter:
Season of Hunger: This will be a grim Thanksgiving for millions in the U.S. Hunger and food insecurity is on the increase in the U.S. as families face ultimatums: to pay for food or rent, food or medicine. The situation has been made worse with the U.S. facing the worst food inflation in 17 years. Families are running out of food by the end of the month, parents are skipping meals so children can have enough to eat, and families are doing without minimally adequate, balanced and healthy diets. A new briefing paper from the Oakland Institute, Season of Hunger: A Crisis of Food Inflation & Shrinking Safety Nets in the U.S., examines the causes of growing hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. and suggests long term and structural changes required to reform the precarious food system, emergency food assistance programs, wages, and employment in the United States. Read the briefing paper online.
Honoring the Hands that Feed Us: From the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (who successfully got Taco Bell to increase the amount paid for tomatoes to help low-paid tomato field workers): New editorial reminds us: “Thanksgiving is a holiday built around food… but rarely do we honor the hands that feed us.” A well-timed op/ed — published as consumers across the country begin gearing-up for Thanksgiving — takes a hard look at conditions in the fields where the fruits and vegetables for our holiday feasts are grown and picked. Go to the CIW website to see the article in its entirety, together with all the latest news from the Campaign for Fair Food. “… Immokalee is an extreme example, but it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you realize the high costs that some people are paying so that we can have cheap food. Most of us do not take the time to wonder why our food costs so little. Instead, we notice how expensive organic or locally grown produce is in comparison. For agriculture to be sustainable, it must provide a living for those who work our land. Let’s honor the hands that feed us by restoring the dignity of fair wages to farmers and farmworkers.”