Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fair Food Project

is a multimedia presentation from the California Institute for Rural Studies, an eco-justice organization.

I was mightily impressed by these three short segments describing the problems of farm workers. Comparing field labor working and living conditions to sweatshops - would we tolerate it or be protesting? But we are so invested in our cheap food supply, and the fields are so far away from our population centers, or from our sight even if they are not.

The second and third segments stress solutions. Sustainability involves workers, too. Whole foods, if we really meant it, involve a whole farm approach, seeing things systemically. A values-based rather than a product-based assessment of farm success is needed. And what about the idea that farmers building relationships with farm workers creates commitment, and with it increased productivity. There are many good clips and quotes here of farm owners trying to do the right thing for people and planet.

And - a tangential observation - after you've seen all the tomatoes picked green in the photos here, you will understand the lack of flavor in those you find at the supermarket. Even the last few from my garden, picked before frost and ripened inside after, have more flavor.

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