Nov 27 2015

Saru Jayaraman on Outlawing the Tipped Minimum Wage

Restaurant worker (cc photo: Daveblog)

There’s a movement to outlaw the “tipped wage” — the idea that a minimum wage of $2.13 is OK, because waitstaff get enough in voluntary tips to make up for it.

Oct 28 2015

Buckraking on the Food Beat: When Is It a Conflict of Interest?

Roundup (photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

In an age of shrinking newspaper budgets, it’s common for editors to rely on freelance writers–and for freelancers to add to their incomes with side projects. But is it a conflict of interest for a columnist who covers food and agriculture to take money from agrichemical industry interest groups? The issue arose in a September 23 Washington Post chat, when a reader noted an article about the funding of GMO experts, and asked Post food columnist Tamar Haspel to speak to the issue of who pays what for her services. Haspel replied: I speak and moderate panels and debates often, […]

Oct 22 2015

‘We Need to Look at Food as a Global System’

Ben Burkett of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, with grand-nephew.

“It’s the right to grow, it is the right to live on the land by rural peoples, it is the right of everyone to be able to eat domestically grown food in a way that supports each nation’s economy and the sustenance of its culture.”

Oct 16 2015

Michele Jawando on Criminal Justice Reform, Beverly Bell on Food Sovereignty

Image from Tamir Rice video

Taking the Black Lives Matter movement seriously has to mean more than prompting presidential candidates to say the words aloud. CounterSpin talks about some potential elements of an actual criminal justice reform agenda.

Aug 25 2015

NYT: Not Believing in Climate Change Is Like Believing in Food Shortages

Children being fed in Kenya (cc photo: FMSC)

Is not believing in climate change today really like believing that unchecked population growth would lead to food shortages? Contrary to the New York Times’ David Leonhardt, global food shortages are a serious problem.

Aug 01 2012

Putting Consumers Back in Their Place

After ‘pink slime’ victory, reminders that corporations do know best

Pink Slime--Photo Credit:

After ‘pink slime’ victory, reminders that corporations do know bestCorporate news media paid what looked like sympathetic attention to consumer activism that, within weeks, saw the ingredient known as “pink slime” removed from ground beef sold in major supermarkets and fast food chains and provided to public schoolchildren in their lunch. Reporters seemed as compelled and repelled as many consumers by the realization that trimmings “made from cattle parts once considered too contaminated for human consumption” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/20/12) can now be found in some 70 percent of beef sold in the U.S.—that is, after “slow cooking, a trip through […]

Jun 08 2012

Fatima Goss Graves on wage gap, Alexis Baden-Mayer on GMO labeling


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The Paycheck Fairness Act, aimed at making it easier to fight gender-based wage discrimination, failed to muster the votes to break Republicans’ filibuster in the Senate. Sadly, the measure also failed to muster journalists to address the underlying problem, rather than dismiss it all as just more partisan politicking. It seems unfairness against women, even if it’s devastating and daily, just isn’t that newsworthy. We’ll hear from Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center, about paycheck fairness. Also on CounterSpin today, many people feel like there’s a right to know what’s in […]

Oct 01 2011

Ignoring Non-Islamic Culprits in Somalia Famine

Hunger from harmful aid and agriculture policies

Hunger from harmful aid and agriculture policiesAs Somalia sank deeper into famine in late summer, with 63 percent of southern Somalia’s population at risk of starvation, U.S. media coverage focused on stories of misery and resilience. Measuring children’s emaciated arms and describing the scraps of dignity people struggled to maintain in refugee camps substituted for investigation of causes, or discussion of remedies beyond appeals for donations. A typical report came from CBS Evening News (8/8/11): “The faces dusted with the desert and…the eyes that have seen too much,” with an interview with a woman “who had fought to save her […]