:::::So I was a chef with left wing politics, a former union organizer and farm worker, and an armchair nutritionist when I started stumbling across various voices from the Food Movement some time around 2005. It’s hard to imagine someone better primed for a message of sustainable agriculture, grassroots activism, local economics, and low income community food security. Being a Massachusetts born union organizer who lived in cities but often worked in rural communities in the South has irrevocably scrambled my cultural allegiances in ways that would eventually play havoc with my loyalties in the debates the Food Movement had started. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
When Chipotle announced they were not extending paid sick days to hourly employees last year, there were some who suggested that they might pay a price in food safety. As they post big losses following a series of disease outbreaks, that strategy does indeed look penny wise and pound foolish.
It’s nearly impossible to argue that switching from the GMO sugar beets that currently make up the bulk of the US sugar supply to sugarcane is in any way a net benefit to the environment. Sugarcane is an environmentally intensive crop. It requires large amounts of water and often threatens local aquifers. It is a tropical crop which requires the deforestation of vital, biodiverse habitat to allow for new production.