Food Job: Consumer Advocate

bfrankWe are undergoing a massive change in how we think about our food and in the ways we buy, cook, and eat it.

Our opinions are influenced by activists protesting the pollution of the earth’s soil, air, and water, the inhumane treatment of animals, and the presence of hormones, additives, and preservatives. Some of these concerns are amply justified; others have little or no basis in reality.

Our judgments are also molded—far more than we may be prepared to admit—by skillful advertising and by journalists and consumer advocates with axes to grind. As a consumer advocate, you will need to know how to make your words persuade, charm, inform, and inspire action.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is among the leading food consumer advocates. Its accomplishments include leading the efforts to win passage of laws that require ‘Nutrition Facts’ on packaged foods (and, later, to include trans fat on those labels), define the term “organic” for foods, and put warning notices on alcoholic beverages. The organization attracts considerable media attention. Check its website for job opportunities.

Do a Google search of ‘Consumer Food Advocates’ to find other sites such as Food & Water Watch. The information from this group tells us that it is: “A leading national consumer advocacy organization that runs dynamic, cutting edge campaigns challenging the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. Since 2005, we have won significant victories to protect our food and water. Our work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other major media outlets. As a growing organization, we have a number of opportunities for talented organizers, advocates, researchers, and policy experts.” Intern opportunities are available.

Contact the sites that interest you and see what sort of qualifications are required. Check the salary range too.

By the way, did you know the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a free government site that lists average salaries for food jobs throughout the U.S? For example, you will obviously earn more working in a fine dining restaurant in midtown Manhattan than in rural Mississippi even if you are making pancakes and sausages for brunch in both places.

No one ever said life is fair.