Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
From our friends at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United!
EXCITING NEWS! Our 2nd annual ROC National Diners’ Guide to Ethical Eating 2013: A Consumer Guide on the Working Conditions of America’s Restaurants IS OUT & entirely new, the ROC Diners' Guide smartphone app, created by Clay Ewing, Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, putting restaurant rankings at consumers' fingertips.
The free app is available NOW for iPhone and Android mobile devices.
“ROC-U produced a National Diner’s Guide that rates restaurant based on how they treat their employees.” Mark Bittman exclaimed in his New York Times column earlier this year. "We have pocket guides for fish; finally, there’s one for humans.”
As the holiday season for dining out and office parties at restaurants begins, the Guide makes it easy for consumers and companies to evaluate more than 150 restaurants and national chains based on a number of key criteria:
- Do they provide paid sick days to ensure that those who handle and serve food are not passing on illnesses?
- Do they pay at least $9 per hour to non-tipped workers and at least $5 per hour to tipped workers? (The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for non-tipped workers and just $2.13 for tipped workers.)
- Do they provide opportunities for advancement, so that at least 50 percent of their employees were promoted to those positions from within?
In the 2013 edition of the guide, ROC has included 73 restaurants that are committed to taking a “high road” approach to workers and consumers, up from 35 restaurants in the 2012 edition. Congrats to all the Gold and Silver star winners in the Guide (some of them might surprise you)!
So check out the 2013 ROC Nat'l Diners' Guide and DOWNLOAD THE APP - find out if your favorite restaurants have been naughty or nice...
Don't forget to leave a review if you like the app!
Earlier this month, I was asked to give a talk on food justice to a near by congregation. I knew this was a broad topic, but I didn’t realize exactly how broad it was until I began compiling my presentation. I felt overwhelmed, the same feeling I usually experience when going into a “big box” grocery store, after spending most of my time at local markets. The choices were unlimited. After discernment and a better understanding of the crowd, I decided to focus on the social dimensions of our food system- looking at those key players that often times go unnoticed. Narrowing the topic still suggested an extensive amount of coverage. Realizing I had to start somewhere, I put together my prezi entitled, “It’s Just Food: Social Inequalities within the American Food System.”
I began with the story of Thanksgiving. While we can thank those closest to us, we often times never get a chance (or forget entirely) to thank those doing the work to get us our food. After focusing on the producers and suppliers: small farmers, workers in the fields, and more specifically dairy farmers, I switched gears and looked at the consumers, spotlighting the working class living in food deserts, and the homeless. I wanted to give food justice a face, while still showing the extensiveness of this subject.
Our food system has gone astray, so much so that it’s harming other areas of our life and we don’t even realize it (health and well-being). I have grown up in a culture that is famous for the elevator speech. Fit everything you have to say in 20 minutes or less! Starting ….NOW..GO! It’s hard to fit so much information into a 20 minute talk, let alone come up with a quick and easy solution (impossible!). I’m still unsure if people walked away with the message I wanted to bring, but at least I planted a seed.
Vickie Machado is a 2012 Food Justice Fellow. She is currently living full time at the Gainesville Catholic Worker and pursuing her Master’s in Religion and Nature at the University of Florida.