After going through this article, I have made some connections with ideas presented in those times and that of current times. The entire length of the second chapter, it talks about Miss Hepzibah and the disgrace that came with opening a food store. The narrator discusses all the other options that would have been a better choice, but Miss Hepzibah must make money, so opening the food store had to be done. She has no other choice but to lower herself to the position of food store owner.

 

This disrespect of people working in the food service industry has a correlation with the modern dislike of working in a fast food restaurant. And working in a grocery store isn’t all that glamorous either. It’s funny how even after all this time, working in the food industry is still looked upon with contempt. After all, food is necessary and sustains us, but we look down on those who provide it. It’s funny that this was an idea in this early time; you would think the people who provided food who be highly regarded, but this is not the case. If this was already an idea at those times, then when did this thought become the norm? Maybe the connection between food and slavery puts the negative connotation on being a food store owner. It would be very interesting to explore if the disapproval of people in the food industry was present before slavery or if there’s always been an inherit disliking. The world may never know.

4 Comments

  1. I would agree with the above points that historically and even today food preparers have been looked down on as being lower than the people they are serving, and it is probably true that some of that comes from the fact that slaves/servants and women typically prepared food(for much of history women were also considered less than men).

    I think today, however, especially in developed countries the food industry is changing fundamentally to give more respect to food and the people who prepare the food. It is true that fast food is still a huge part of our culture, but overall I believe we are seeing a trend towards better prepared, fresher and more creative food as our society places more importance on what is consumed.

    If you read the wall street journal over the last few months there are numerous signs that not only are the fast food giants struggling(due to a desire for higher quality food and better treatment of workers), but smaller specialty food makers are doing better and are highly regarded. There is a lot that goes into our food and I think as our society progresses we will continue to see this trend towards food more as an art form, with more respect given to the food industry as a whole.

  2. It seems like people who master the craft of providing “fancy” foods, like French, or Italian, were respected back then. And for providing and environment and experience for eating those foods. For instance, if you were the owner of a fancy pantsy restaurant, you were respected. But yes, those working out of their own homes may not have had such high respect. Maybe it is the distinction between providing the service in your own home (in the case of Miss Hepzibah), in someone else’s home (in the case of slaves or servants) or out of a separate establishment (in the case of restaurants).

    I wanted to comment on current day standards in the food service and provision industry, in particular grocery stores. We usually don’t give people that work at grocery stores much credit. I knew someone that worked in a Hyvee, much like a Publix, and although he was paid minimum wage, his life was put in danger while doing his job! Sometimes, when he unloaded bananas from the trucks, he would find black widow spiders in the shipment! We don’t give grocery workers much credit, but sometimes their jobs can be very hard, and even though they are there to provide us necessities, sometimes we still do not give them enough credit, respect, or money for their services.

  3. The above comment is mine–Matthew Rowland “It is very disappointing….under appreciated.”

  4. It is very disappointing that people look with such disregard at those in the food service industry. Food service at any level is not only necessary to the sustenance of society but it is an art form. Whether the actual culinary art of preparing a food that is served to other people, or the logistical art of distributing produce or ingredients, food service is an artistic task. I myself have worked in food service as a caterer and the process of serving food is far more complex process than most people realize. Many hours of hard work go into each meal that we eat, whether its food purchased and prepared ourselves or food bought from a restaurant. These food service jobs are definitely under appreciated.

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