For her book, “The American Way of Eating,” writer Tracie McMillan went undercover and worked in the vegetable fields of California. In her research she found there were field workers who don’t even earn a minimum wage — and some weren’t paid at all. Yet because we as consumers continue to create the demand for these goods, the workers remain trapped.
Danielle Nierenberg of the Food Tank, a food think tank, proposes one solution to stop this vicious cycle. Why not label food with a grade for how well the workers and animals were treated in the food distribution chain? This newfound knowledge could impact every aspect of the food distribution chain, from forests, to wages, to health.
Congress in a standstill over immigration policy, U.S. bishops have repeatedly supported reforms to provide pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, improved living and working conditions, along with quality education and health care. A holistic food label could provide much-needed transparency to better the lives of immigrants.
Lauren Caggiano is assistant editor of OSV Newsweekly.