Food Politics + Justice

Published on April 17th, 2014 | by Mary Gerush


You Can Change The Horrid Conditions Of American Farmworkers


As a consumer, you are a vital link in the food chain — bringing fresh fruit and vegetables into your home and your diet. Your food decisions make a difference in how produce is grown, harvested and sold: if you demand better practices, you can make a difference.

– Equitable Food Institute (EFI)

When you dig into the the realities of our food system, you find truths you don’t want to know. Such is the case with farmworkers’ conditions, their rights, and their safety. You need to know the truth, because you can help change it.

Farmworkers: Overworked, Underpaid, and Unprotected

If you have fresh food, thank a farmworker. But do you know how many of them live? They work long hours, make little money, and live at risk of pesticide poisoning, accidents, and mistreatment. And many of them are children. Check out this infographic to learn the basics:

Everyday Struggles for Farmworkers

You Can Help Change Farmworkers’ Lives

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a partnership among organizations focused on improving farmworker conditions by developing standards, educational programs, and a certification for farms that treat farmworkers fairly. Their mission is to “ensure a dignified livelihood for farmworkers, a stable and professionally trained agricultural workforce for growers, and safer and more environmentally sustainable food for retailers and consumers.” Sounds important, right?

EFI is piloting its certification program which allows farms to be reviewed against a set of labor, food safety, and environmental standards. Farms that measure up can apply an EFI Trust Mark to their products.

This is where you come in…

EFI, along with takepart, is campaigning to raise awareness of farmworker struggles and the efforts being made to address them. You can help by watching this 1 minute video. Then pledge to support safe food and safe workplaces by buying EFI-certified produce, encouraging your retailers to carry it, and spreading the word to friends and family.

Pledge your support here.

Were you aware of this issue? Can you get behind this movement and add your support? Let us know how you feel about it.

Infographic and Video Credits: | Image Credit: Farmer via Shutterstock

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !

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