(The New York City Food Policy Center has offered recommendations for how the mayor’s office could create 10,000 new good food jobs in the city by 2020.) Yet while some students may possess the economic and/or social capital to do this, many also face an immediate need to pay the bills.
While helping to foster an expanded good food jobs sector, food studies programs should prepare students to identify and obtain jobs that are safe, financially viable, and fair.
At The New School in New York, students often design their own food studies projects in elective courses and the school’s new food studies degree program.
At Tufts University, the Friedman Justice League, a student organization, has been pushing for more courses in food justice—that is, social justice related to food and agriculture—as well as more student and faculty diversity at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
), has written about the parallels between food studies and the food movement, a loose coalition of interests involved variously in a more socially just and ecologically sustainable food system.
Scholarly work has been useful to activist initiatives beyond the academy on important issues: for example, improving school food or teaching about corporate influence over agricultural production.
• Degree programs should also be designed to help graduates both obtain and create “good food jobs”—jobs that pay a living wage, offer safe working conditions, promote sustainable economic development, and make healthier food more accessible to all.
Food studies graduates may in fact create their own jobs, devising new ways to address food challenges as they evolve.
Well-known New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced recently that he intends to eliminate tipping at his New York restaurants with an across-the-board increase in prices to fund “hospitality.” Meanwhile, fast food workers, nationally, have been fighting for a rat-infested camps while picking tomatoes.