From locally grown, organic greens to grass-fed beef, we care about the food that comes out of the kitchen—but what about the workers who chop, grill, sauté and serve our food? Today, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite its size and growth, the industry suffers from pervasively low wages, wage theft, non-existent benefits, rampant discrimination and often dangerous or unhealthy working conditions.
This week in New York City, consumers, students and working people, are coming together for an action and food justice conference to learn more about the enormous impact food workers have on the economy and on consumers, food safety and public health.
This video trailer, for the upcoming book Behind the Kitchen Door, gives a brief glimpse into the working conditions in restaurants told through the stories of workers. According to author Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the health and well-being of the second-largest private-sector workforce is at stake—the lives of 10 million people, many immigrants, many people of color, who bring passion, tenacity and important insight into the American dining experience.