The Food Chain Workers Alliance

Richard Mandelbaum is an herbalist, activist, and member of the Brooklyn Food Coalition who divides his time with his family between Brooklyn and Sullivan County, NY. Until December 2011 he served on the board of the FCWA.

The following is excerpted from the FCWA website, where more information on its mission and work can be found:

Working conditions throughout the U.S. food chain – from farm to fork – were discussed in an earlier blog post:

The Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. The Alliance was founded in July 2009. The Alliance works together to build a more sustainable food system that respects workers’ rights, based on the principles of social, environmental and racial justice, in which everyone has access to healthy and affordable food.

The following is the mission statement of the Alliance:
Food is a human right, and the human rights of those who produce our food, from field to table, should be respected as well. By coming together in the Food Chain Workers Alliance, our member organizations will have greater power to improve the wages and working conditions of food system workers and their families. In this way we can challenge institutionalized racism and balance out the immense corporate power over our food system in order to work towards ending poverty and therefore hunger, as well as to truly achieve sustainable agricultural practices, environmental justice, and respect for workers’ and community rights.

The Alliance’s work focuses on: leadership development and solidarity, policy and standards, campaigns, and education.

  • The current members of FCWA are:
  • Brandworkers International (NYC)
  • Center for New Community (Midwest)
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers (FL)
  • Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas / Farmworker Support Committee (NJ/PA/DE/MD)
  • International Labor Rights Forum
  • Just Harvest USA
  • Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center (AR)
  • Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (NY)
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York City)
  • UNITE HERE Food Service Division (nationwide)
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 (southern CA)
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 (NYC)
  • Warehouse Workers for Justice (IL)

The Alliance is a sponsor of the Brooklyn Food Conference and its member organizations will have a strong showing in the workshops throughout the day. The Brooklyn Food Coalition’s new labor committee will ensure that these issues will be a central part of BFC’s work going forward.

In addition, the Alliance will be holding a conference of its own – Food Workers and Food Justice - on June 6, 2012, here in New York City. (For more information or to register go to: The day will begin with the release of the FCWA report THE HANDS THAT FEED US: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain - the first-ever comprehensive report on the state of food workers in the U.S. and workers will speak about how the report reflects their own experiences working in the food system. That will be followed by breakout sessions to focus on the policy recommendations in the report. Right after lunch, there will be a panel focused on the policy initiatives of three New York City-based FCWA member groups: the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York’s proposed policy to tie liquor licenses to employment standards and the sale of healthy, nutritious food; UFCW Local 1500 and ALIGN’s efforts to require community involvement and good jobs to funding support for new grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods; and Brandworkers International’s effort to include labor standards for any food manufacturing businesses that receive loans and other financial incentives in the City’s Economic Development Corporation.

Fair Food, Fair Jobs: The Restaurant Worker’s Role in the Food Movement

by Holly Howard | & Araby Smyth | Manager, Palo Santo in Park Slope

Consumers hold restaurants accountable for everything from where they source their ingredients, to the materials they use to build their establishments, right down to their sanitary practices. But no one holds them accountable for their labor practices.

The average wage is less than $9 an hour and over 90% of restaurant workers lack health insurance and sick days. The work environment is physically and psychologically taxing with very few opportunities for career advancement.

What if restaurants offered fairer jobs alongside just food? Improving the jobs of the 14 million Americans working in restaurants would have significant positive impact on our communities and the economy.

The Brooklyn Food Conference is the perfect place to talk about how the jobs of restaurant workers could be and are being changed for the better and how to step it up and get more people involved. We applaud the restaurants that are supporting the conference and invite more to do so.

Join us for a workshop about how we are setting a precedent for progressive labor practices in Brooklyn restaurants. Hear from folks who work at Egg/Parish Hall, Palo Santo/Fort Reno, Peaches Hot House and Pies ‘n’ Thighs. We want a future where everyone has a seat at the dinner table.

Urban Farmer: Micheline Brown

Written by Angela Martenez for the Brooklyn Food Coalition

Park Slope urban farmer Micheline Brown followed the sheep. Not as she slept, though they did lead her to sweet dreams… that came true.

As a child growing up in the Midwest, Brown loved sheep and dreamed of one day having her own sheep farm. She remembers knitting, sewing, quilting, crocheting –anything to do with textiles (and the sheep who create them). “I’ve always been a maker,” she says, “Anything to do with your hands.” After college, Brown’s love of textiles and her craft-making hands led her to the Big Apple where she became a costumer for hit shows like “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City,” Broadway’s “Rent” as well as at the Metropolitan Opera.

Three years ago, Brown had landed a position with CBS’ award-winning “The Good Wife,” a show she describes as “awesome.” And yet, as much as she loved her work, Brown realized something was missing. She wanted a career that felt more personally fulfilling, one that aligned with her politics in a way that her costuming work didn’t. Brown decided to become a farmer, as many in her family had been. “My grandparents grew up on farms where they would grow their own food.” But she saw a difference between the farming of her grandparents’ generation and modern agricultural practice. “They had diversified farms. Now, a lot of my family has giant fields where they grow corn and soybeans. You don’t see vegetable farms like you would a hundred years ago. So the produce in stores throughout the United States is trucked in from California, Florida, Mexico, Holland… Monoculture is a huge problem throughout the world, but especially in North American farmland. It’s degrading our eco-systems and heavily dependent on fossil fuels. And because there’s no diversity of crops, they have huge pest problems. So they’re dependent on petroleum pesticides and herbicides.”

Rather than move back to the Midwest to hone her farming skills, Brown knew she wanted to stay in the city. “I’m African-American and it’s really important for me to live among other black people and people of all sorts.” She realized she could grow food where she lived when she learned about urban agriculture projects around the country. After monthly weekend-long intensives at Will Allen’s renowned Growing Power in Milwaukee, Brown quit her job. For the better part of a year, she immersed herself in urban farming at Growing Power’s Milwaukee and Chicago farms, as well at D-Town Farm run by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. She even found a way to weave her past into her budding new career as a food grower: “I started teaching teenagers how to knit and crochet in the winter because things were slowing down.” Somewhere, a sheep was undoubtedly bleating in approval.

Soon after returning to Park Slope, Brown joined Project Eats, a self-described ArtAction that combines art and social strategies to create sustainably-grown, local food, business training and community development.

In partnership with public high schools and community-based organizations, Project Eats helps grow fresh vegetables—from arugula to Romanesco-on sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx and sell them to community and farmers’ markets and restaurants. These food-growing efforts fill a dire need in marginalized urban communities. “If there’s a grocery store in a black or Latino neighborhood, they’re not necessarily as good or with the freshest food as other neighborhoods. Go to any bodega in Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, East New York – all the stuff is full of sugar,” explains Brown. In addition, they help with a line of health and body products called Brie’s Garden, working with high school students to mix and package products like lip and tattoo balms using herbs grown at Project Eats’ farms. The students then learn business-planning and profit-sharing skills by creating enterprises that sell the products. Some of the proceeds go back to Project Eats farms and fellowships for other community members to train with Project Eats.

One of the biggest challenges Brown sees in urban farming is maximizing production with limited space. “We grow on less than 2 acres,” she explains, “So we try to grow as much food in that space as we can, like leafy greens that don’t take as much time to grow as grains do.” But the real key, Brown explains, is improving the soil with compost. “The problem is there’s a lot of contaminated soil directly underneath where we grow, mostly heavy metals such as lead and mercury.” Brown sees opportunities for Project Eats to increase compost production by using NYC waste material. “We’re hoping to take this nutrient-rich waste that would normally be going into a landfill and turn it into healthy, viable soil.” Brown is teaching composting at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens as well as to Project Eats’ high-school students.“I’m a fan of perma-composting with worms. “There’s a community garden with an area that has a lot of trees, which isn’t great for growing broccoli but where we can grow good soil with big worm bins.”

Beyond the challenges of urban agriculture, Brown finds connections with farmers of all generations to be one of the most rewarding aspects of her new career. “I get to work with kids all the time and that’s a really beautiful thing.” At a farming site in Brownsville, she had an unexpected surprise. “We had a bunch of stuff still growing since it was a mild winter, things that got sweeter when they stayed in the ground. I asked these boys if they wanted some broccoli. They were a little hesitant at first. But every day they’ve come back. They’ve never had broccoli that tasted that good. We have moms come who are waiting for the school bus at the end of the school day, neighbors walking by. You don’t get that in rural areas.”
Brown remembers one fellow farmer in particular. “One of our elders came in to prep her beds and harvest all these collard greens,” she explains. “We have water that comes from the hydrant and don’t have a big sink. So we rigged something up and washed her collards and put them in bags for her family and neighbors. She told me about when she first moved to Brownsville in 1958. She asked if I was going to be there for the rest of the summer and was glad there was going to be someone there so she wouldn’t be there alone. She has knowledge that I don’t. And I get to honor the traditions and wisdom of our elders. It’s deeply, deeply satisfying to be able to watch stuff grow, to watch people enjoy the food. And to listen to people’s stories which I couldn’t when I worked in film and television.”

For her, the challenges of each day are myriad and rewarding. “Farming uses every single muscle,” she explains, “from my biceps to my brain. It’s constant problem-solving and being resourceful.”

Brown’s can-do approach helps even more dreams come true through Sisters Grow, an organization she founded for food-growing women and girls of African descent. “When I started, I looked around to work with other African-American women, to get inspired and ask for help. I didn’t find that so I created it.” What began as a Facebook group eventually turned into a road trip. “We drove a caravan from upstate New York to Detroit and from DC/Maryland to Virginia. We’d stop and meet with black women farmers and growers along the way,” says Brown. “We’re keeping each other inspired and motivated.” Now, members of Sisters Grow have begun working together, expanding their food-growing potential. Brown hopes Sisters Grow will one day offer scholarships to young women who dream of becoming farmers but can’t afford to intern for low stipends. That’s not open to a lot of kids of color. A scholarship fund can supplement the income these farms pay.”

Brown sees Brooklyn Food Coalition’s mission resonating strongly with her values. “Fair access to food, ethical treatment of all the food workers-whether you’re a farmer in Brooklyn or upstate, whether you work at a restaurant or a grocery store—and supporting the environment – these three tenets are important to me.” She brings this passion and her commitment to creating community and food justice to her work as a BFC steering committee member.

Brown is excited about the inclusive approach BFC has taken in developing the upcoming Brooklyn Food Conference. “Faith-based organizations, families, programming for teenagers, workshops for growing your own food, information on fracking – there’s something for everyone. Brooklyn is this amazing dynamic place. We have such a diversity of people and types of food – all ethnic backgrounds and all the places in the US, it’s everybody.” Brown will be speaking on a panel for Black Urban Growers (BUGS) on food justice, in addition to helping develop workshops and coordinate logistics for the conference.

Ultimately, Brown believes the urban farm movement can be a crucial part of creating an alternative food system where communities are in control of their own food sources. “I would like to see a lot more of our food grown locally. There’s so much space that could be used for growing food so that we’re not so dependent on trucking our food around. People are always so surprised to hear about urban farming. I would like it not to be a novelty.”

Food Systems Network NYC’s Interview with Nancy Romer

Reposted from Food Systems Network NYC

In anticipation of the second Brooklyn Food Conference on May 12th, Rosalin Luetum touched base with Nancy Romer (pictured left), the General Coordinator of the Coalition, to learn how the ‘movement’ has made strides and what the priority areas are now.

Rosalin Luetum (RL): The Brooklyn Food Coalition effort has been an impressive grass roots movement since it kicked off with the 2009 conference. Lots has happened in Brooklyn around food in particular over these last 3 years. As you anticipate and plan for this next and much bigger conference, we have some questions about the developments in this ‘movement’ from 2009 until now. Over the last three years:

RL: What would you say are the most significant developments in the ‘good food movement’ in Brooklyn?

Nancy Romer (NR): The biggest change has been in people’s consciousness. It has been a huge leap forward in the food movement. With that change has come the cross-fertilization of ideas in areas such as urban agriculture, providing access to healthy foods for all, sustainable agriculture, school food, and justice for food workers.

Awareness has been the biggest and most important piece, and there are a lot of other smaller pieces under that. For example, in terms of urban agriculture, more people are growing food at home and tending home gardens. The anti-fracking movement is exciting and powerful. With food workers, there are important campaigns shining a lot on sweatshops working to change current work conditions. The food co-op movement has been growing, and parents are working to improve the food in their kids’ schools.

RL: What in your view have been the short term ‘successes’?

NR: In addition to what I mentioned earlier, other short term success are less quantifiable. In the last five years, there has been an attitude change towards food. People are eating and thinking differently. There are people who don’t have access to healthy food and others who don’t seek it out. What’s important is to have people that are able to work with each other toward the shared goal of a better food system. Legislatively, two new pieces of legislation are coming up this week in City Council, one on improving school food and the other on living wages for workers—both key demands in the food movement. We’ve also had some small successes around farm to café and local sourcing in the last Child Nutrition Bill. The US Farm Bill will likely support some more small farm initiatives.

RL: What are the most difficult challenges that lie ahead? (Read the whole article.)

NYC Council Members Partner with BFC on School Food Reform

Brad Lander and Gale Brewer, City Council members from Park Slope and the Upper West Side recognize that there has been great progress when it comes to what our kids eat in school, but more needs to be done. writes about they’re desire to bring more change to school food and their partnership with the Brooklyn Food Coalition in making that a reality.

Milk Not Jails!

Written by Becca Kinsella for the Brooklyn Food Coalition

Lauren Melodia | Milk Not Jails

Lauren Melodia of Bedstuy, Brooklyn is not new to the food movement. Having spent the last seven years working in community gardens, as a staff member at local farmers markets and most recently managing a local farm share in Bedstuy, her collaboration with others to start the Milk Not Jails project may be seen as an extension of her previous experience. Lauren, in collaboration with others, started Milk Not Jails to simultaneously support local farmers and decrease rural upstate communities’ dependency on the prison system. The constituencies supported by the criminal justice system are the same as those supported by the agriculture system. Therefore, Milk Not Jails seeks to combine efforts and tackle both issues at the same time. Lauren explains, “for those that are politically active, we all want to get involved in one movement or one issue at a time, but everything is so interconnected. What we’re trying to do with Milk Not Jails is see how different movements can support each other.”

Milk Not Jails is grassroots campaign that has been volunteer run since it was founded in March 2010. The volunteers that comprise Milk Not Jails are urban and rural residents of New York state, food enthusiasts, prison families, farmers, and formerly incarcerated people. As mentioned, Milk Not Jails’ volunteers have two immediate goals for New York State. They would like to see communities invest in the agricultural economy in rural areas of New York. Milk Not Jails is concerned for the future of the food industry as it has been industrialized and continues to move further from a regional industry to a more global focused industry. The volunteers at Milk Not Jails believe that small farming and heritage processes are more sustainable than the global systems that exist but international policies make it more and more difficult for the small family farms or farms with animal friendly processes to survive. Secondly, Milk Not Jails aims to end the dependency on New York’s dysfunctional prison system. Lauren explains the dysfunction that exists in the criminal justice system, “there is no interest in crime prevention but rather an encouraged dependency on the system to serve as an economy for rural communities.”

Melodia with co-organizer Tychist Baker after being unlawfully arrested in Buffalo, NY

Despite being a young organization, Milk Not Jails has already seen many successes. Lauren notes that the campaign is built on relationships, both political and economical, that are mutually beneficial. In the past two years Milk Not Jails has gained the support of thirty criminal justice organizations, reached out to two hundred fifty farmers, and established rapport with individuals from both urban and rural areas. Lauren emphasizes that the key to establishing these relationships is coming up with a new and creative way to discuss issues that are not novel but rather have existed for some time without a means of discussing. Milk Not Jails is framing the importance of eating local or consuming from local farms in a very new way which is why being a part of networks such as the Brooklyn Food Coalition is so important to spreading the message in the

Milk Not Jail’s participation in the Brooklyn Food Conference will help educate the population in Brooklyn that is excited about eating fresh local produce. Brooklynites will learn about how consumption of these locally farmed goods will result in a movement against the dysfunctional policing that happens in their communities and will improve the food industry in their state. Milk Not Jails will be providing information from their table at the BFC about where residents can purchase locally sourced milk. For more information visit them online:

Official Conference Program Released

It’s finally here!! Thanks to our amazing Programming Committee the official 2012 Brooklyn Food Conference Program is available for download on our website. This beautifully designed 92 page document is packed with information on the workshops, cooking demonstrations, film screenings, Youth and children’s activities as well as plenary speakers and all our sponsors!

New Leadership at Bed Stuy’s Magnolia Tree Earth Center

Brooklyn Food Coalition volunteer Abby Sherer visited the Magnolia Tree Earth Center in Brooklyn to talk to their new leader, Beverly Johnson. Come to the 2012 conference and find out more about what else community organizations like Magnolia Tree are up to and get involved!

Beverly Johnson

Green campaigners in Brooklyn celebrated a venerable survivor on February 9.  The Magnolia Tree Earth Center, housed in a brightly renovated brownstone on Lafayette Avenue in Bed Stuy, welcomed its new executive director Beverly Johnson with a packed to the gills party of gardeners, youth organizers, and other community minded folk who toasted the 40-year-old institution.

“I know that our founder Hattie Carthan is looking down and saying, yes, that’s what I was talking about,” said David Greaves, editor of the weekly newspaper Our Time Press and president of the Magnolia Tree center’s board.

On hand was State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, a supporter of the center’s Tree Corps, an environmental education program for twenty middle and five high schoolers that is relaunching this month. Also celebrating were members of the Association Blacks in Energy, partners of the Magnolia Tree Center and, with Our Time Press and Bacardi, sponsors of the party.

“It’s funny because I’ve never been an outdoorsy kind of girl,” said Ms. Johnson, the new director. But she joined Magnolia Tree after retiring from NYU-Polytechnic of NY where she supported students of color in their effort to earn engineering and science degrees, and saw the connection. “Imagine us bringing opportunity for the community of Bed Stuy. If we have people from business, from education, gardeners, food specialists from all walks of life, the Society of Black Engineers (a sponsor of a key summer program of the center)… we all get together and bring whatever you have is good to the table.”

In the fall, she aims to provide tutoring for middle and high school students in math, science and engineering. This summer Magnolia Tree is bringing the National Society of Black Engineers’ Summer Engineering Experience for Kids to the neighborhood.

Hattie Carthan

Nancy Wolf, one of the founding members of Magnolia Tree and vice president of the board, remembered the community group’s beginnings and Mrs. Carthan.  Mrs. Carthan was already an activist in late middle age when she saw a lone Magnolia grandiflora growing on Lafayette Avenue, much further north than is comfortable for it but protected by the surrounding buildings.   “She learned a parking lot was going to be built – it’s always a parking lot that’s going to be built when you raze trees. … She coined a slogan, Save a tree, save a neighborhood.” Through her organizing, the now 127-year-old tree was granted landmark designation in 1970, and the brownstones followed seven years later.

The Center’s actual incorporation was in 1972, the year of Earth Day. “Earth Day happened,” Ms. Wolf recalled. “It was one of these blockbuster things. People’s lives were changed. I know mine has.” Ms. Wolf was at Pratt when she learned “there was a lady at Bed Stuy who’s trying to do something.” And indeed she did, rallying around the Magnolia tree to launch environmental programs and consciousness in the neighborhood, and the Magnolia Tree Earth Center.

“This was a survivor organization,” recalled Ms. Wolf. “Many groups were born after Earth Day. Very few organizations that were born out of Earth Day excitement survive. Magnolia Tree did, one of the first growing out of an African American community.” Nearby, a massive community garden with Hattie Carthan’s history posted on the fence tells the story that is still in the making.

- written by Abby Scher for the Brooklyn Food Coalition
Contact Abby at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @abbyscher

Justice for Food Workers

It is impossible to imagine a world without the people who who plant, pick, prepare and serve our food. Many of these people are immigrants who come here for a better life, but are often taken advantage of, paid low wages and are forced to work in unhealthy conditions. Lucas Benitez, Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will speak about Justice for Food Workers; one of the Three Pillars of the BFC.

Stephanie Berzon
Justice for Food and Farm Workers
Written by Richard Mandelbaum for the Brooklyn Food Coalition

Food and farm workers are among the lowest paid and most highly exploited workers all over the world. This includes the 20 million food workers in the United States and right here in our towns and neighborhoods.
From harvesting crops to waiting tables, , food workers are frequently denied basic rights and protections given to other occupations under federal law. For example, the U.S. has restricted child labor for decades, but over 400,000 children currently work in agriculture(2) in the U.S., and over 68 million worldwide. Both children and adult farmworkers regularly work under dangerous conditions, including being exposed to toxic chemicals.(6) and dangerous machinery. Closer to home, the cooks and dishwashers who work in your neighborhood restaurants typically make minimum wage, and the waiters and waitresses are exempt from the federal minimum wage. Their base salary is only $2.13 an hour, and they have to make up the rest with tips. So it may not be surprising that restaurant workers’ average salary is $15,000 a year– and 9 out of 10 lack employer-sponsored health insurance. (9b)

Conditions are not any better for those workers who work in food warehouses, processing plants, and distribution. Almost a quarter of grocery store workers are not even paid minimum wage. Meatpacking workers suffer from worksite injuries at twice the national rate. (2) In one recent year (2008), 100 poultry workers died on the job and over 300,000 were injured. It’s also common for workers to have their wages stolen or withheld by their bosses.(11)

The food system is dominated by immigrant workers.
Many U.S. government policies give massive breaks to giant corporate farms which drive out smaller farms here and abroad. Since immigrants can no longer work in their homeland, they need to migrate to the U.S. in order to feed their families.(5) At the same time, the U.S. government has cracked down on immigration by tightening the border and increasing deportations-making life for undocumented workers very risky. They often have no choice about working long hours with little pay, because their bosses can threaten to report them at any time. Even if workers get legal Guest worker visas, they do little to protect their fundamental rights. (4)

The struggle for just working conditions by food and farm workers is deeply linked to issues of race, class, and gender.
Three-fourths of all managers in the food system are white, while most low-wage workers are people of color. Women of color suffer the most from wage discrimination, earning half as much as their white male co-workers. (1) Overall seven of the ten worst paying jobs in the U.S. are food system jobs. (2)

Paying workers living wages and ensuring safe and fair working conditions does not have to be in competition with the struggle for food access.
In the U.S. people spend over $1 trillion per year on food, (12) yet only a tiny percentage of the consumer’s “food dollar” goes toward wages for workers. For example, out of every dollar spent on apples, only 5-6 cents goes to the workers who picked them. One study conducted by the University of California found that farmworkers’ wages could be increased by 40% if the average family would pay a mere $9 extra per year for fresh produce. (7) We should not build a cheap food supply on the backs of exploited workers. Ultimately the struggle for food access needs to include living wages for all people. In this way people will be able to afford healthy food without having to make sacrifices in other parts of their lives.

Supporting workers is not only the right thing to do. It will also help to protect ourselves as consumers as well. Employers who violate workers’ rights are often violating other laws, from pesticide regulations to food safety laws. (2) When any workers’ rights have been systematically denied, none of our rights are truly secure.

Ways we can support the struggle for food and farm workers’ justice include:

  • Support unionization and organizing efforts. This includes small, local unions and grassroots community organizations to larger union efforts.
  • Support coalitions such as the Food Chain Workers Alliance (2) that are pushing for systemic change.
  • Reward progressive farmers and employers who are doing the right thing. Support innovative initiatives such as ROC-United’s National Diners’ Guide (9a) and the Agricultural Justice Project’ Food Justice Certified label. (10)
  • Support strategic alliances that are bringing together employers and workers, such as the Domestic Fair Trade Association. (8)
  • Pressure our legislators for needed local, state, and federal policy change.


Reference and Resources

1. Applied Research Center, The Color of Food:

2. Food Chain Workers Alliance:

3. “Race Based Discrimination Against Farm Workers Under Federal Unemployment Insurance”, by Marc Linder and Laurence Norton, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Volume 29, Issues 1&2, Fall 1995 and Winter 1996

4. Southern Poverty Law Center, Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States:

5. “Mexico May Lose 350,000 Farm Jobs, Lopez Aguilar Says”, Bloomberg News, January 3, 2008:

6. International Labor Organization, The impact of pesticide exposure on child laborers in agriculture:

7. How We Eat, Rural Migration News, University of California- Davis:

8. Domestic Fair Trade Association:

9. ROC-United

a. National Diners Guide:

b. Raise the Tipped Minimum Wage:

10. Agricultural Justice Project:

11. Human Rights from Field to Fork: Improving Labor Conditions for Food-sector Workers by Organizing Across Boundaries, Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Context, Joann Lo and Ariel Jacobson: (pdf download)

12. US food Industry Overview, Plunkett Research Ltd:

Cooking Demonstrations Announced!

For all you food lovers and chef’s at heart, we just posted the Cooking Demonstrations page on the website. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store and please visit the website to see a complete list of all the demos!

Wilted Dandelion Greens with Hot Garlic Dressing and Garlic Chips
Bryant Terry, Eco Chef, Food Activist
Bryant will prepare Wilted Dandelion Greens with Hot Garlic Dressing and Garlic Chips recipe. Dandelion greens offer a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This recipe is a health-supportive twist on the southern/ African American classic “Wilted Dandelion Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing” found in Jessica B. Harris’s book The Welcome Table.

Whipping Up Healthy Meals with WIC
Callista Falsia, Public Health Solutions, Neighborhood WIC
Calista will share simple recipes for active families, on a budget, using low-cost foods that can be purchased with WIC Vouchers.

Healthy Substitutions to Support Allergy-free and Vegan Diets
Juarline Stavrinos, Allergy Free Cooking, Baby! Inc.
Juarline will demonstrate how to use healthy, organic, alternative ingredients to substitute dairy, gluten and eggs while making crepes.

Snack Happy: Healthy Snacks for Growing Kids
Trina O’Boyle, Happy Family Organics
Learn to make easy, healthy delicious snacks for kids. Will also cover: using organic ingredients and whole foods, importance of exposing children to variety of foods/flavors, snacking tips and healthy snacks on the go, non-food ingredients to avoid, getting children involved in cooking.