Smithfield Foods is a very ugly company. As the UFCW explains, "Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world, the fourth largest turkey processor and fifth largest beef processor in the U.S." It has its own police force and jail cell in its Tar Heel, North Carolina processing plant. It has repeatedly violated labor laws to prevent its workers from organizing.
Which is one reason, in case you are pretty good in the kitchen (I mean you can cook), you should not be buying “It Ain’t All About the Cooking". The author, celebrity chef Paula Deen, is a shill for Smithfield. Yesterday, there was a demonstration outside her book signing in Washington, D.C.:
Paula Deen, the Food Network’s ebullient queen of butter-drenched Southern cooking, has found herself in the middle of a dispute between Smithfield Foods Inc. and a union that has long tried to organize one of the company’s pork processing plants.
As part of a national campaign to win support for its effort, the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, is trying to get Ms. Deen to sever her ties to Smithfield, for which she has been a paid spokeswoman since last fall.
Within the growing world of food-celebrity endorsements, Ms. Deen is the first personality to have become entangled in such a fight.
The latest round of it took place on Wednesday night at the National Museum of Natural History here, where Ms. Deen, on a national book tour, made an appearance before a sold-out crowd.
The full story about the campaign is at the UFCW's website. So, when Deen comes to your town, get out there with your pots and pans and make some noise.