March 27th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emilie Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.

It is National Farmworker Awareness Week. Chef Andrea Reusing preluded the week with an informative TEDxUNC talk in Chapel Hill.

A lot of us are obsessed with food. “We argue about whether pork tastes better if the pig eats peanuts or if the pig eats acorns…But there is a problem,” she says. We often ignore something that is much more fundamental to the way we live: The lives of the people who harvest the food we eat.

Reusing is not alone in raising awareness of the plight of farmworkers. In a course entitled Roots of Poverty, Roots of Change, students at Duke University collaborated with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) to produce a series of short videos to be used as part of the media campaign for the National Farmworker Awareness Week. The topics range from child labor to pesticides, health, and safety.

With statistics reminiscent of those published in Tracie McMillan’s American Way of Eating, the videos inform us that:

  • There are 150,000 farmworkers at any given time in North Carolina.
  • The average farmworker workday lasts 12-14 hours, without overpay.
  • The average farmworker household income is $16,000 a year.
  • Farmworkers have the highest rate of toxic chemical injuries and skin disorders than any other type of worker.
  • Each North Carolina farmworker brings in $12,000 in profit for the state’s economy.
  • North Carolina farmworkers don’t have the protection to organize a union or to take sick leave.
  • The problem with our food system is that these farmworkers are invisible. Reusing acknowledges that when we eat food that another person has grown and harvested for us, we become connected to them. Let this week be a reminder of those connections and an opportunity to reset a table where all may gather.

    Read more at the Southern Foodways Alliance's blog

    Who are you calling 'rich'? A small farmer shares some hard data
    Where does your grocery money go? Mostly not to the farmers
    Opinion: My family farm isn't under "corporate control"
    How the modern day tomato came to be
    Farmers aren't evil. Now can we have a civil conversation?
    What should a 'local' farm (and farmer) look like?
    What a farmer wants you to know about how beef gets to your plate
    Start a conversation with a farmer

    soundoff (7 Responses)
    1. coches

      un consejo es que usted podra tomar la correa husillo accionado y utilizar un fuera de la espiga estante o lo que no, y entonces hay muy poca carga lateral en el eje del motor, slo un poco de la tensin de la correa. o es posible construir el cabezal, pero ahora es dos Assys separadas, lo cual es ms fcil de tratar en mi humilde opinin.

      August 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    2. Kody Watts

      Howdy! I could have sworn I've visited this blog before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it's new to me. Regardless, I'm certainly delighted I found it and I'll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
      Kody Watts

      June 18, 2014 at 6:57 am |
    3. grace

      I'm finding them for my sister. I'm trying to find the most recipes with pictures and the ages of baby for the recipes. Blogs are usually where I would expect to find them..

      April 25, 2014 at 11:53 am |
    4. Rachelle Kaawa

      Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to search out any individual with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the net, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

      December 20, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    5. AT

      This message of community awareness comes from a woman who just painted over one of Chapel Hill's murals!!
      What a phony. I personally don't care about the mural, but don't act like you're driven by a sense of wanting to help others and sustainability when you're really just using every hip PR buzz word to try to make money.

      March 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    6. dick

      im not just hungry im hungry eye mate

      March 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
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