It’s a wrap! Here are some of our top picks. Have a great weekend!
Wage equity: fast food strike; Senate Dems boycott cafeterias. Fast-food and other low wage workers are planning a nationwide strike next week. Fight for $15, an international group representing the workers, has planned protests in at least 270 U.S. cities on Tuesday, November 10th. The group hopes to galvanize attention and influence the 2016 presidential election. Paul Davidson for USA Today. The call for higher wages is receiving support from Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate, which has begun organizing Wednesday boycotts of the Senate cafeterias to express solidarity with workers and highlight wage inequity. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) organized the first boycott last week and was joined by other Senators and staffers this week. Tim Devaney for The Hill.
What does organic mean? And is it more sustainable? Healthier? Worth the extra money? Nathanael Johnson of Grist says “it depends.” And then Johnson proceeds to offer one of the clearest explanations we’ve ever read about what organic means and doesn’t mean. He discusses the definitions, the rules and what’s behind the rules (context: philosophy and regulation). He includes both plants and animals. This is an incredibly well-organized read that is packed full of useful information. Bonus: a pretty neat three-minute video; we’re including it below. Pair this piece with our Q&A with organics leader Mark Lipson.
2016 Trends. International food and restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman comment on what are shaping up to be 2016’s top food trends. Spoiler: a revolution in “high-speed” food delivery may prove a “Big Disrupter.” Think uberEats and Amazon…and more middlemen connecting restaurants and consumers. Another big thing? The national conversation about wage disparities (and tipping) is going to get louder. Retailers will be stepping up their battle with restaurants for consumer dollars. And fried chicken is on the menu. An absolutely fun and fascinating read. Don’t miss this one.
International food prices rise; weather plays a key role. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations generates a monthly Food Price Index. Overall, there was a 4% increase in food costs in October. Increases were seen in all food commodities except meat, with sugar, dairy products and palm oil seeing the greatest increases. Per UN economists, this is mainly related to weather conditions around the globe. El Nino will likely curb 2016 output. FAO’s Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian discusses the findings. His take? Don’t panic; overall supplies and reserves are in good shape. Video (about 6 minutes long).
Culture: The Cajun Reconnection. The Acadian community in Eastern Canada (Nova Scotia) has intimate connections to Cajuns in Louisiana. A story that began 250 years ago is related in this episode of The Gravy. It involves loss…and reunification. And as you might guess, cultural understanding and relationship building occurs through food, partaken together. Lovely; incredible music, too. Simon Thibault for Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast. Thibault has an Acadian cookbook in the works; we’re looking forward to reading it.
Have a great weekend!