With all the talk of minimalism and socially conscious consumerism, I began to think of the food industry and how ethical decisions—or the lack thereof—from producer to consumer have serious consequences for this planet. I wonder now, when I have a good meal in a good restaurant, does the owner offer a livable wage for his staff? Or are they working 15 hours a day and still receiving government assistance? I wonder if I am getting what is being sold to me. Or if the drink in front of me is what is described on the menu. Is the restaurant cutting corners on food safety and employee safety to make more money? Am I going to get sick? I have an allergy to gluten and it is almost a certain gamble in some places to trust that they will do the right thing when it comes to your allergy. I feel that because I have 30 years in the industry I have an unfair advantage when it comes to the food I consume and buy for my family. My goal is to share a little wisdom and knowledge on subjects that will help you ask the right questions when purchasing, growing, or preparing food for yourself and your family. Some of the advice might seem like common sense but we all learn at different paces. Ex: Don’t eat yellow snow, it’s not lemon flavor. Here’s an old one but a good rule, if you’re at a fish house get the fish, if you’re at a rib house, get the ribs. If you’re at a 7-Eleven late at night, DON’T EAT THE HOTDOGS! (this one might save your life).
I will, of course, tackle affluence—the socially contagious disease of wanting more—and how it affects our ethical decisions on cultivation, preparation, consumption, and the waste generated by the big business of mass-produced food and agriculture. I now think about how a space was created. Was in done in a responsible manner? Was it done ethically? I can’t stop asking these questions, because the idea of how ethical considerations can translate into sound and profitable business models fascinates me.
I will continue to ask tough questions and expect more from those who control the purse. Sometimes, the allure of quick and easy gains overshadows the right thing to do. I want to springboard from a premise that one can have a viable business that is profitable but also strive to do the right thing. When you truly start to care is when you start asking the right questions. Do better, be better.