When I eat a hamburger at a fast-food chain or purchase vegetables at a grocery store, I don’t usually think about where my food came from.
But I should. Take tomatoes, for example.
Most of the tomatoes you find at fast-food restaurants and supermarkets are picked by this country’s most exploited workers.
This exploitation happens so that purchasers (especially fast-food chains and supermarkets) can get tomatoes for a cheap price–and so that I can still find my cheeseburger on the dollar menu.
This issue is much bigger than tomatoes. Similar injustices are found throughout the food production industry–in bananas, coffee, and poultry.
What can I do about this?
I can speak up. And I can be a conscientious consumer. By choosing Fair Trade products, I can be sure that farmers are receiving fair wages. And by giving to ELCA World Hunger, I am helping my church support Fair Trade projects in several different countries around the world.
This message is adapted from “Relationships around Food” by Laury Rinker in the February 2010 issue of Cafe.