Author Michael Pollan:

Author Michael Pollan: “The Fair Food Program can help eradicate slavery from the tomato supply chain in our country – if we can get supermarkets to sign on.”

International Justice Mission’s “Recipe for Change” campaign gaining high profile support, grassroots momentum by the day; IJM calls for National Day of Action this September 1st!

This past July 4th, faith-based human rights organization International Justice Mission launched a summer campaign in support of the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food, entitled Recipe for Change.

The campaign features weekly tomato-based recipes from food justice leaders and raises awareness about the continued struggle to eliminate exploitation and forced labor in Florida agriculture. Most importantly, it offers ways to take action — including a Recipe for Change National Day of Action on September 1st, which promises to be huge — to encourage supermarket leaders Publix, Kroger, and Ahold to do their part to eradicate modern-day slavery and the conditions of poverty and powerlessness that enable it to exist by joining the Fair Food Program.

IJM’s Recipe for Change has generated a veritable buzz in the month since its inception.

New York Times food columnist and best-selling author Mark Bittman was one of the first food movement luminaries to lend his voice to the campaign, sharing his bruschetta recipe.

This past week, Helen Fabela Chavez, wife of farmworker movement legend Cesar Chavez, submitted a recipe of her own, writing:

“It is with great respect that I submit this recipe in support of the Campaign for Fair Food. My husband Cesar Chavez used to say that he would not have worked a day in his life if he thought the struggle for the rights of farmworkers would not continue without him. I thank the Immokalee Workers and organizers for continuing to fight for the men and women who feed this nation…” read more

And most recently, Michael Pollan — author of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001) — added his own recipe for change to the mix:

“I’m happy to join forces with IJM’s Recipe for Change campaign in support of The Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program can help eradicate slavery from the tomato supply chain in our country—if we can get supermarkets to sign on. Recipe for Change should improve understanding of where and who our tomatoes come from, locally and nationally – and advance the cause of justice in our food system, from the hand-picking of the tomato to our kitchen plate.”

Support for the Recipe for Change Campaign has taken off in recent weeks in the blogosphere, adding countless new and enthusiastic voices to the Campaign for Fair Food. Here below are just a couple examples from the groundswell of support growing daily in the food movement:

  • In early July, popular food blogs Bake Your Day and Gimme Some Oven launched the “Tomato Love Recipe Exchange”, asking food bloggers to post a tomato recipe a week until Labor Day in support of the Recipe for Change campaign. Follow their posts at #TomatoLove. And definitely check out their video announcing the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, their enthusiasm is contagious!

  • On July 24th, food justice blog The Giving Table held “Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes,” in which over 50 food bloggers posted a tomato-based recipe and called on their readers to learn about and take action in the Campaign for Fair Food. The bloggers’ responses reflected the depth of shock at farm labor conditions and the growing indignation among food writers over the refusal of supermarkets to do their part to improve those conditions. Here are a few examples:

    The First Mess: “Shocking abuses of human rights and repeat incidents of outright slavery are prevalent in the supply chain of American supermarket tomatoes…From seed to plate, over several years, these conditions endure in order to supply major supermarkets.”

    Oh Lady Cakes: “All we have to do is convince major supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program…Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are doing their part, and now it’s our job to convince Ahold, Publix and Kroger to do the same…Together, we have the capacity to make a difference and end slavery in US tomato fields.”

    Inherit the Spoon: “The powerful will always try to control the struggle between free and unfree people – but when we agree that human dignity is more important than low prices at the checkout counter, and when we speak that truth to power, then we – collectively – can become the powerful ones.”

Add your voice to International Justice Mission’s call for change by checking out the Recipe for Change website today and making plans to take part in September 1st’s National Day of Action to demand that your supermarket help eradicate eradicate modern-day slavery and the conditions of poverty and powerlessness that enable it to exist by joining the CIW’s Fair Food Program.