Magen Tzedek is an initiative of utmost importance to the ongoing commitment of all religious communities to the just and ethical production of food, one of the most sacred of gifts. That the initiative is off to a “slow start” (“Magen Tzedek, a Response to Agriprocessors Scandal, Still Not in Operation,” October 5) is hardly surprising, given the structure of the entire American food system and the economic and political power it wields over our lives. For the low-wage workers who constitute the majority of the workforce that feeds the nation, that power is experienced daily in the fields, on the floors of packinghouses and in restaurant kitchens. Magen Tzedek compels all peoples of faith to consider anew the deeper standards of justice by which we are fed, and to confront anew the daily exploitation of those who bring food to our tables.
The Rev. David L. Ostendorf