Archive for February, 2013

Retailer Just Says No to Exploiting Children

MOM's Organic Market bans products targeting children

Sign at Mom’s Organic Market

As the frequent bearer of bad news about the food industry, I am thrilled to share a positive story. Last month, MOM’s Organic Market, a small retail chain based in the Baltimore area, announced it would stop carrying products featuring children’s cartoon characters:

Products ranging from Dora the Explorer frozen soybeans to Elmo juice boxes will be discontinued and replaced with organic alternatives in cartoon-free packaging.

Company CEO Scott Nash blogged last August about how his young daughter begged for a cereal she never tasted because of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” on the box, putting the store’s policy into motion. The company sent me this list of discontinued items, which includes numerous Earth’s Best products, along with a few other natural food companies.

Continue reading →

Is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Silencing its Members Who Object to McDonald’s Sponsoring Lunch?

2/28 Postscript: In happy news, Tara Marino reports that after an exchange with Lauren Fox (social media manager for AND), she will be reinstated. Fox claimed that Marino’s comments were not the reason for her removal but rather AND was deleting all non-members of the Academy. Marino provided her member number, which cleared things up. However, still no word back from the California affiliate.

I received the following email from registered dietitian Tara Marino who says she was recently “deleted” from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics LinkedIn group after expressing support for my report on the organization’s questionable corporate sponsors. (See previous post on a similar silencing attempt.)

Continue reading →

What Does Sustainable Food Mean? Connecting Access to Retail Jobs: Guest Post by Sally Smyth

In my ongoing effort to bring more attention to the plight of food workers, following is a guest post by Sally Smyth, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is researching retail jobs with the Food Labor Research Center, which is directed by Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door.

Continue reading →

Fighting the Other NRA – Resources to Support Food Workers

This week I’ve been writing about the National Restaurant Association (the other NRA) and why we should care about food workers, in part to bring attention to the new book Behind the Kitchen Door by labor advocate Saru Jayaraman. Today I want to offer practical resources for how to help improve the lives of the 20 million food workers who help us put food on our own tables every day.

Continue reading →

Top 10 Reasons to Care About Food Workers

This week, with the release of Saru Jayaraman’s new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, I’ve been writing about the powerful influence of the National Restaurant Association, for example, in lobbying against paid sick days for workers. Sadly, most of my colleagues in public health and the good food movement don’t pay enough attention to the many injustices workers face every day. So here is my attempt to help correct that situation.

Continue reading →

How the Other NRA is Making Us Sick

 

This week, food labor advocate Saru Jayaraman is releasing her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, which relates  heartbreaking stories of just some of the 10 million restaurant workers in the U.S. In a chapter called, Serving While Sick, she tells the disturbing tale of a fast-food worker who had no choice but to come to work with a bad cold since she couldn’t afford to go unpaid. When this worker tried to explain to her manager how perhaps handling food while coughing and sneezing was not such a good idea, she was laughed at. She later wondered how many customers she got sick that day because she couldn’t leave the counter every time she needed to wipe her nose.

Continue reading →

Why the Other NRA Loves the First Lady

Michelle Obama speaking to the National Restaurant Association in September 2010

 

As I explained yesterday, I am writing one post per day this week to being attention to the new book by food labor rights advocate Saru Jayaraman, Behind the Kitchen Door. The book brings much-needed attention to the 10 million restaurant workers who toil everyday over our meals, often for slave wages. The National Restaurant Association (the other NRA) is largely responsible for lobbying to keep the federal tipped minimum wage at a paltry $2.13 an hour. Unfortunately, the topic of worker rights never came up in the speech the first lady gave to the NRA in September of 2010.

Continue reading →

The Other NRA: National Restaurant Association

This week, Saru Jayaraman, an amazing advocate for food workers as co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and now director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley is releasing her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door.

Continue reading →

Addressing Alleged “Inaccuracies” of the ‘And Now a Word from Our Sponsors’ Report

In the first few days after my report on the conflicted corporate sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Academy’s response was to make vague accusations about “factual inaccuracies” contained in my report. After I complained about AND’s failure to be specific, they posted this list entitled, “Addressing Inaccuracies of the ‘And Now a Word from Our Sponsors’ Report.” It sure looks impressive, with 14 items I supposedly got wrong. However, upon closer inspection, it’s just more of the same public relations spin from a desperate organization.

Continue reading →

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Controlling Responses to My Report

A colleague sent me the following email message that went out to members of the Missouri Dietetics Association (MDA). I think it pretty much speaks for itself. See note at the end, which includes: “Do not reply to this message, as this is not a discussion forum.” Obviously not. Continue reading →

Join Email List

Speaking Requests

Media Requests

Contact Michele Simon: michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com

Archives

  • 2014 (29)
  • 2013 (67)
  • 2012 (70)
  • 2011 (53)
  • 2010 (49)