Over the last ten years, hommus has grown in great popularity all over America. As consumption has increased, many different companies have started producing it in countless varieties. Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods is one such company which is based in Ward Hill, MA was founded by Abe Hanna in 1981 as he noticed there was a lack of Mediterranean foods in local grocery stores; it was the first company to commercially produce hommus. Since then Cedar’s has become a large scale corporation with products in many markets across the North America.6 Now Abe’s son Charlie is CEO and president while his friend, Steve Tsakirellis, is Executive Vice President. Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods has significantly aided in helping hommus become a household name in that 30 years ago hommus was not a widespread snack while today it is recognized everywhere. The company has greatly helped “…promote healthy lifestyles through good-for-you products”.6 While Cedar’s hommus is well known many people do not know the process of how it comes from the farm to their dinner tables.
Hommus production begins on the farm where key ingredients are harvested. The ingredients are harvested by a combine that is owned and operated usually by farmers; per pound of chickpeas, farmer receives 50% of the profit. Other ingredients which are not harvested by family farmers are harvested by migrant farm workers who do have the option to unionize. In terms of percentage of Cedar’s product, farmer receives a third of the retail price per individual package. Once the chickpeas have been picked, they are dried and delivered to the processing facility. From there the chickpeas are delivered to a Boston storage house. From Boston, they are delivered to a Cedar’s production facility in Ward Hill, MA.3
At the production facility is where the product begins to form. Dried chickpeas go in an upward conveyer belt into a long vibrating tray which shakes out heavier contaminants like pebbles and twigs; bins below catch the contaminants. After this, the chickpeas fall into a tub of filtered water to be rinsed and then go into perforated buckets on a conveyer belt so the dirty water can be drained. The perforated buckets bring the chickpeas to tanks which hold thousands of chickpeas. Here, the chickpeas are kept for 14 hours in order to soften. After 14 hours are up, the chickpeas have doubled in size and are pumped into trays which are then stacked. Then, the chickpeas are put into a large, cylindrical steam cooker at 250°F for 30 minutes. The high temperatures allow the chickpeas to soften and color to darken.
Once they have been cooked, the chickpeas are transferred via a conveyer belt to the grinder. Before being put into the grinder, chickpeas are stationed above it in a hopper which holds the chickpeas until they are slowly added to the grinder which has one blade that rotates while the other one is stationary. When the unground chickpeas fall into the grinder from the hopper, a turn screw allows...