03: I want Fresh Juice!

fresh juice podcast
On this week’s show we talk taco trucks in Oakland’s Fruitvale district with Berkeleyside NOSH’s Kate Williams. From fresh in a bottle, to juice bars, & making your own at home, owner of Sow Juice Luisa Alberto talks us through it.  The people who feed us can’t feed themselves; Jaq breaks down food worker wages in the United States.

Fruitvale Taco spots mentioned on the show:

Guadalajara Taco Truck
44th Ave and International Blvd
Oakland, CA 94620
Neighborhood: East Oakland

Taco Grill
3340 E 12th St # 11
Oakland, CA 94601

Mariscos Sinaloa
2138 International Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601

Pipirin Taco Stand
34th Ave & Farnam St
Oakland, CA 94620

Kate’s Full Review & List:
BerkeleysideNosh

Stay up to date with Sow Juice:
Website: SowSF.com
Follow: @sowsf
Like: facebook.com/sowingsf

The people who feed you, can’t feed themselves.

By Jacqueline Gleason

We all love to eat out. We celebrate life’s great achievements by going out for a meal with our loved ones, grab a quick bite while on the run, or reward ourselves with something yummy at the end of a tough day. Either way, going out to eat is part of American culture. But who are the people that actually make that experience happen?

Restaurant workers are twice as likely to use SNAP and EBT to feed themselves and their families than the rest of the American workforce. They are three times as likely to live below the poverty line. While these people barely scrape by, almost every national restaurant chain has reported record high profits in 2011.

In 2007 the federal government passed a law to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 by 2009. However, that change did not include the millions of tipped restaurant workers whose wages are frozen at $2.13 per hour. Why you may ask? In 1996, the National Restaurant Association successfully lobbied Congress to exempt tipped restaurant workers from any changes to the minimum wage laws. In return, they agreed to support efforts to raise the minimum wage for the rest of the workforce. This resulted in nearly 3 million people, over half of who are women forced to subsist solely on tips, as their paychecks are often $0 after taxes are paid.

And how about those lucky restaurant workers who are under the umbrella of the federal minimum wage? Are they able to survive without government assistance? McDonald’s recently released a budgeting tool for their minimum wage employees. It includes ludicrous assertions like health insurance costs of $20 per month or $0 per month allocated to spend on your heating bill.  It also assumes you do not buy food or put gas in your car. But perhaps the most outrageous revelation of all is the nonchalant line item, “Income, 2nd job”.  Yes McDonald’s workers, you too can live the American dream on a minimum wage job. I mean, two minimum wage jobs. As long as you don’t want to eat or be warm.

The current living wage in Oakland for one adult is $11.51 per hour. The highest paid executive at McDonald’s was paid $4.1 million plus stock in 2011. That’s $2,037 per hour. Yet, the average McDonalds employee needs a second job and food stamps simply to not be hungry. I, for one, am not lovin’ it.



Jayaraman, Saru Behind the Kitchen Door, 2013, Cornell University Press.

National Employment Law Project, Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage, July 2012, http://nelp.3cdn.net/e555b2e361f8f734f4_sim6btdzo.pdf

U.S. Department of Labor, History of Changes to the Minimum Wage Law, September 2013, http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/coverage.htm

U.S. Department of Labor, Fair Labor and Standards Act Advisor, September 2013, http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

Jamieson, David, Obama State of the Union Address: President Calls for Raising the Minimum Wage, February 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/02/minimum-wage-restaurant-workers_n_1515916.html

Restaurant Opportunities Center, Realizing the Dream: How the Minimum Wage Impacts racial Inequity in the Restaurant Industry in America, June 2013 http://rocunited.org/the-third-shift/

Restaurant Opportunities Center, Oh McDonald’s-Thanks for proving how totally inconceivable living on minimum wage actually is, July 2013, http://rocunited.org/files/2013/07/mcdonaldssamplemonthlybudget.jpg

Glasmeier, Amy, Poverty in America: Living Wage Calculator, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  http://livingwage.mit.edu/places/0600153000

National Employment Law Project, Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage, July 2012, http://nelp.3cdn.net/e555b2e361f8f734f4_sim6btdzo.pdf

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Email: ray at talkrealfood dot com

Posted on October 18, 2013 in Podcast

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