Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

Excellent article on the class politics of Slow Food in this week's SF Bay Guardian. Always reliable for a populist barn-burner of a story now and then, the alterna-weekly tackles the ongoing labor rights, social justice and elitism concerns wrapped up with the artisan cheeses, free-range chickens and locally-grown veggies that characterize the movement. Get this:

"The average salary of the estimated 900,000 farm workers in California — the birthplace of the organic and farm labor movements in the U.S. — is around $8,500, more than $2,000 below the federal poverty line."

Ergh. $8,500. How's that for some serious perspective?

Give it a read. The piece is a good reminder that it's not enough to engage the politics of food on a superficial "I shop at Whole Foods and buy taquitos at the Farmer's Market" level. We've gotta delve deeper into the labor and class issues behind this whole thing. And that means drawing the connections between poverty, obesity, and the lack of access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. Calling ourselves "progressive" seems presumptuously self-congratulatory when stories like these come to light.

Out of Reach: How the Sustainable Local Food Movement Neglects Poor Workers and Eaters (SFBG)


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