Our growing, conscientious food culture has put a priority on eating all things sustainable, local, organic and free-range. Though most foodies would never step foot in a McDonald’s, they would happily eat at a farm-to-table restaurant where food is sourced according to the highest standards.
And yet, here’s the unspoken hypocrisy. We give more thought to how the chickens and cows on our plate have been treated than we do about the people who cook and serve our food. Restaurant workers hold six of the 10 lowest-paying occupations in the U.S., earning less, on average, than farm workers and domestic workers. Just 20% of restaurant jobs pay a living wage, and women, people of color and immigrants are often barred from getting these living-wage positions.
It is “the chasm between American food values and business practices,” writes Saru Jayaraman, founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and author of the…
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