Eaters Unite! Food in Support of Labor, Labor in Support of Food

Food and politics often come together in peculiar ways. It's not that their coming together at all is unusual -- far from it. Civilization and politics are both a direct result of agriculture. But these days, food's impact on political discourse can lead to some odd sights, such as free pizza being delivered to protesters in Madison, paid for by sympathetic activists in Egypt.

In a story first broken by Meredith Shiner at Politico, Madison landmark Ian's Pizza got a call from a person in Egypt ordering pizza for the protesters in the Capitol building around the corner. Ian's put out a tweet about it, and since then, according to the article, the little pizza place has delivered more than 300 pies and given away more than 1,000 slices thanks to the support of people in 48 countries (last count) and all 50 states. So shines a good deed in a weary world.

All this was begun by a single concerned Egyptian, who had just played a part in toppling a decades-old regime via protests that centered on -- among other things -- food prices. Similar complaints led to similar results in Tunisia, and are now boiling over in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya. Here in the U.S., the protests are about labor rights, but they too are beginning to spread, notably to Indiana where a (now former) Assistant AG called for the use of deadly force against the protesters. There have been similar protests -- though admittedly not as big yet -- here in my home state of Iowa and in other states.