Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snack for thought...

As a follow-up to my earlier post regarding farm labor and food systems, I wanted to point to the Fair Food Project. This is a joint endeavor by photographer Rick Nahmias, who is probably best known for his social justice photography on The Migrant Project, and the California Institute for Rural Studies, which conducted the study on labor practices on organic farms that I referenced in my earlier post.

Nahmias and CIRS have collaborated on a series of short documentaries to show the dire straits that many U.S. farm laborers live in. Further, the documentaries explore ways to improve the American food system to make it more just for workers. According to the Fair Food Project site:

Through the stories and voices of farmworkers, growers, businesses and fair food advocates, viewers learn about the harsh realities of farmworker conditions and, more importantly, the promise of improved farm labor practices in American agriculture. The growing movement for “fair food” is tapping into rising consumer demand for food produced in accordance with their values.

Those of you who are curious about these issues may want to check out the videos to become better informed. Part One, "The Farmworkers," identifies the problems with the current agricultural system through photographs and interviews.

Parts Two and Three, "The Growers" and "The Advocates" looks at possible solutions and provides insight into organizations, businesses, chefs, and students who are committed to supporting fair labor conditions. The Fair Food Project's site itself provides resources on buying locally and finding/demanding more fair trade food options in our every day lives.

Hope you'll check it out!

*Note: For some reason the videos seem to embed off-center. The videos can also be found on the Fair Food Project homepage if you would like to watch them - including in HD!


rachel said...

I really enjoyed these videos. I especially liked hearing from farmers who are running economically viable and socially responsible farms. People like to cite economics as the reason why they can't take care of their farmworkers, so the more farmers that debunk that myth, the more momentum we may find for the farmworker movement!

Becky Hayes said...

I couldn’t agree more with one of the earlier women speaking on the video- I have long felt that a domestic Fair Food/Fair Trade movement was one of the missing pieces of organic farming. The movement behind International Fair Trade coffee and sugar has had so much momentum, as the speakers in the video noted. I have been shelling out the extra money for those products for years, and I would definitely pay extra for the Fair Food too! I’m extremely excited to see that this movement is getting off the ground!

I hope that the genesis of the movement in this recession doesn't stifle it before it truly begins. I hope that Fair Food gets more exposure in the future. I haven’t spotted anything with this label on it in the grocery stores yet, but look forward to the day I do.