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Fair-trade restaurants

(article, Culinate staff)

Our collective consciousness about the rights (and abuses) of our country's underpaid and overworked farmworkers is slowly being prodded into alertness. Now comes an effort, from Tom Philpott, to raise awareness about the similar issues surrounding underpaid and overworked restaurant staffers.

As Philpott notes on Mother Jones, "When I think of food-system exploitation, I think of the vast invisible armies of underpaid workers in farm fields and factory-scale slaughterhouses, out of sight and out of mind for most of us. For some reason, it's even easier to forget the people who are right in my face when I go out to eat: the folks who wait tables, clear them, lead people to them, etc. Then there's the restaurant workers we don't see: cooks, dishwashers, etc."

Mother Jones editorial coordinator Jaeah Lee, Philpott points out, has posted about the Restaurant Opportunities Center's recent downloadable Dining Guide, which ranks various national restaurant chains based on how well they treat their staff. The eateries range from fast food (Chipotle) to high end (Nobu).

Food for thought, during this eating-enthusiastic holiday season.