Nearly all of the produce we eat in the United States is handpicked. Machines don't harvest our fresh lettuce, peaches, cherries, carrots, etc. People do. And as one can imagine, that work is difficult.
In Wasco -- in the San Joaquin Valley where tens of thousands of farm workers toil -- a local ordinance has approved the expansion of a railroad coal depot right next to an overwhelmingly Latino barrio.
Sheriff Youngblood is boldly defying state law, an odd stand by a law enforcement officer sworn to uphold the law. The sheriff's position doesn't encourage confidence in him by the Latino community and many others in Kern County.
What's the quickest way to get thrown out of a Publix supermarket? Is it a) to run naked through the aisles, b) to point and yell 'horsemeat!' at the deli counter or c) to query the manager about whether workers picking tomatoes are treated as well as she'd like. In my case, it was option c).
What America needs now is not a new guest worker program but genuine immigration reform. Most Americans who aren't wealthy don't ask "guests" into their homes to do work on an almost permanent basis. Likewise, let's be honest about the term "temporary" worker.
This year on his holiday, with the poverty rate at more than 16 percent, let us not allow the corporate media coverage to yet again ignore the great crusade for economic justice that Dr. King was spearheading by 1968.
Today, the places where Cesar Chavez lived and worked have become a national monument to the immense significance of his life and the wonderful example of an existence devoted to do as much good for the rest of humanity as possible.
In most of the cases where a farm worker has died, the employer was found to have repeatedly deprived farm workers from adequate water and shade in violation of state regulations. It is obvious that these bad employers prey on the state's inability to enforce the law.
This week's controversy surrounding a Stanford study claiming to have established that organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic illustrates the pitfalls of talking about food issues in a consumer frame.