Welcome to the Jungle, Again

Those who talk about food safety are usually talking about the quality of the food we eat. Those who talk about factory-made food generally focus on the quality of the food the produce and how humanely any animals being processed are treated. Both of these outlooks ignore the factory worker.

From the Dept. of Labor:

Food manufacturing has one of the highest incidences of injury and illness among all industries; seafood product preparation and packaging and dairy product manufacturing have the highest incidence of injury and illness among all food manufacturing industries.


Many production jobs in food manufacturing involve repetitive, physically demanding work. Food manufacturing workers are highly susceptible to repetitive-strain injuries to their hands, wrists, and elbows. This type of injury is especially common in meat- and poultry-processing plants. Production workers often stand for long periods and may be required to lift heavy objects or use cutting, slicing, grinding, and other dangerous tools and machines.

This is another issue we can’t handwave away with the magic organic button. There will always be factories: How can we make them safer for the workers while at the same time improving the quality of the food they produce? I would like to see Jamie Oliver take this on, maybe he can team up with Michael Moore.—Snacktime