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San Diego State University

Experience Food

Who is Preparing Our Food?

Just as food does not magically appear on the grocery store shelves neither does it appear Harry Potter style on to our fine dining plate or even the fast food counter. While diners have become increasingly concerned with the food that they eat, they have not turned their attention in the same way to the conditions of the workers who prepare and serve that food. Local, organic, slow are all trends in consuming our food. Decent pay, equitable opportunities, and safe and healthy working environment could become the next focus of reform. This issue has a long history; over a hundred years ago Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle about the horrifying working conditions in the meat packing industry. Americans responded with concern about the meat they were consuming and so was born the Food and Drug Administration. Sinclair lamented, "I aimed at the public's heart and by accident hit its stomach." Learning about the production and serving side of food will add to students' understanding not only of labor but their sense of interdependence, community, and fairness.

Event Details:

Date: November 7, 2014

Time:  11am-12pm

Location:  AL 201


Faculty Leader: 

Jill Esbenshade

Department of Sociology

Behind kitchen doors view of a kitchen
*Image obtained from