On a drizzly April day in Washington, D.C., 60 food workers and labor organizers from across the country gathered in an office building downtown. There was an African immigrant street vendor from New York City; a black apple picker from upstate New York; a white, 20-something former bartender from Cincinnati. There were Latino farmworkers from California’s Central Valley; Walmart workers from Oakland; a food-processing worker from Brooklyn. The diversity of the workers gathered for the fifth annual summit of the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) reflected the diversity of food workers nationwide.
The “food movement” is complex and often misunderstood. Read snarky Slate articles and you might be led to believe the movement is a white, elitist phenomenon whose poster child is a Lululemon-wearing, latte-sipping Whole Foods shopper and whose de facto guru is Michael Pollan. In other words: out of touch with working Americans.