The Future of Food: Connecting Generation Z and Precariado

Thati

Hatched by Thati

Jun 23, 2024

3 min read

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The Future of Food: Connecting Generation Z and Precariado

In recent years, the influence of Generation Z on the culinary world has been undeniable. Known for their substantial spending on dining out and making food choices based on social media content, this generation is shaping gastronomic experiences worldwide. With 48% of Generation Z considering environmental responsibility or sustainability as the most important factor when making purchasing decisions, it's no surprise that 65% of food service operators consider this trend to be the most relevant and expect it to grow. This generation is also more likely to be interested in vegetarian, vegan, and conscious eating options.

At the same time, the concept of precariado, coined by British economist Guy Standing, refers to an emerging class characterized by high job turnover and reduced labor rights. This class comprises individuals from diverse social and economic backgrounds, forced to accept a life of unstable employment and perform various services that are not truly considered work.

The precariado is a socially and internally divided class in the making. It consists of three main groups: the "Atavics," who feel excluded from the communities of the old working class and tend to support neofascist populists; the "Nostalgics," mainly composed of immigrants and minority ethnicities who feel disconnected from conventional society; and the "Progressives," the educated part of the precariado seeking a sense of future and advocating for progressive policies.

One common point between Generation Z and the precariado is the desire for change. Both groups are looking for alternatives to the traditional systems that have failed them. For Generation Z, it's about finding sustainable and environmentally responsible food options. For the precariado, it's about demanding fair labor rights and social security in an era of increasing job insecurity.

The technological revolution, which has brought about radical changes globally, has played a significant role in the rise of the precariado. The advancement of technology has allowed corporations to change their divisions of labor, fragmenting employment structures and facilitating job turnover. The demands of employers and the State for workers to be "flexible" are unfair when it means accepting a life of continuous social and economic insecurity.

To address these challenges, three actionable pieces of advice can be considered:

  • 1. Embrace sustainable and conscious eating: Restaurants and food service operators should prioritize sustainable and plant-based options to cater to the growing demand from Generation Z. By incorporating these choices into their menus, they can attract this influential demographic while also contributing to a more environmentally friendly food industry.
  • 2. Advocate for labor rights and social security: The precariado needs to come together and demand fair labor rights, including paid vacations, retirement prospects, and stable wages. It's essential to raise awareness about the exploitation and insecurity faced by this class and create a collective voice for change.
  • 3. Support a universal basic income: Implementing a universal basic income could provide those who are tired or in need of a break from continuous employment with the opportunity to have flexibility on their terms. A basic income is justified by ethical and philosophical reasons, as it promotes social justice, improves republican justice, and serves as a necessary instrument for basic security that everyone needs.

Ultimately, both Generation Z and the precariado share a desire for a better future. By connecting their common points and addressing their unique challenges, we can work towards a more inclusive and sustainable society for all. It's crucial to recognize the power of these two groups and their potential to shape the future of food and labor rights. Only by working together can we create meaningful change and build a better world for generations to come.

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