There is Something Wrong; Really Wrong!

Big Food, Big Ag, Big Org(anic), and Big Business have all convinced us that the “American Food System” is a wonderful thing to be maintained at all costs.

Maintained on the backs of farmworkers, meat processing workers, food service workers, and other “invisible” workers, our food system delivers cheap strawberries from California, Mexico, and Chile year ‘round, and chicken nuggets and hamburgers by the barrel full.

The splendor of the food – abundant, cheap food – on our tables day after day requires the labor of thousands of workers, mostly immigrants, refugees, and people of color who are vulnerable to abuse.

Migrant and seasonal farmworkers face slave-like hardships, such as long hours of stoop labor in the fields, harassment in their work, racism and sexism, abject poverty and debt, exposure to lethal nicotine and toxic pesticides, poor health and limited access to health care, and denial of basic labor and human rights protections.

Meat processing jobs are some of the most dangerous in the country and conditions have deteriorated over the last 20 years as a result of consolidation and an increasing focus on the bottom line. Workers continue to be poorly paid and struggle in harsh and dangerous conditions.

The workers who put food on our tables should not have to sacrifice their health, their bodies, or their families for a paycheck. What justice is there when I can enjoy the fruits of their labors while these workers can barely afford to feed their own families?

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Author Ursula Le Quin, wrote about a city of splendor and serenity that could only maintain its existence by keeping a single child in a perpetual state of injustice; filthy, locked in a dungeon and miserable. Most of the citizens, when they are old enough to know the truth, accept that this injustice is required to maintain the happiness of the city. A few cannot accept and silently walk away from the city.

Here we are, we’re walking. We’re leaving “the way things have always been,” but we’re not walking away. Not disappearing.

We are walking from comfortable lives built on the backs of food and farm workers. We are working to upend the system, to change how food is grown, harvested, and processed, to reduce the public’s dependence on “hyper-processed food,” to improve access to nutritional and locally produced whole and minimally processed food.

Join us on our journey to improve access affordable good food, justice for food workers, and health. Our goal healthy workers, healthy consumers, healthy food animals, and healthy soil.

Read more

Ursula le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (1973)

Coronavirus has more Americans turning directly to farms for food, Politico, 3/31/20

Farmworkers in the Coronavirus Crosshairs, Civil Eats, 3/25/20

Over 4,900 meat processing employees have tested positive for coronavirus: CDC, The Hill, 5/1/20

Essential farmworkers risk COVID-19 exposure to maintain food supply, ABC News, 5/3/20