There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food. In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly ...
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Marisa Miller Wolfson
Marisa Miller Wolfson,
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There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food. In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs and has relied on some of the nation's most vulnerable people. While the legal restrictions which kept people bound to farms, like slavery, have been abolished, exploitation still exists, ranging from wage theft to modern-day slavery. These days, this exploitation is perpetuated by the corporations at the top of the food chain: supermarkets. Their buying power has kept wages pitifully low and has created a scenario where desperately poor people are willing to put up with anything to keep their jobs. Written by
There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food. In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs and has relied on some of the nation's most vulnerable people.
When I was about 14, I had a summer job picking raspberries. As I recall, I was paid about 25 cents per pint, and it took a long time to fill one pint. At best, I was bringing in two dollars an hour. Now, this does not mean I understand what it is like to be a farm worker, but the experience is not completely foreign to me. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a living wage.
This film looks at one great aspect of the farm worker: his or her role in the "food chain" and how easy it would be to raise his wage without drastically affecting prices. Many other issues surround this, and a well-rounded picture may take another two or three documentaries. For example, immigration seems to be the elephant in the room.
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