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The Human Cost of Food : Farmworkers' Lives, Labor, and Advocacy

The Human Cost of Food : Farmworkers' Lives, Labor, and Advocacy

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"This is an excellent book, well-written, thoughtful, and scholarly, in a field which has very few overviews accessible to non-specialists. It is definitely a contribution to the literature and will fill a large gap in existing materials, especially in its emphasis on farmworker issues in the Southeast United States." --Cynthia A. Wood, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Appalachian State University Finding fresh fruits and vegetables is as easy as going to the grocery store for most Americans--which makes it all too easy to forget that our food is cultivated, harvested, and packaged by farmworkers who labor for less pay, fewer benefits, and under more dangerous conditions than workers in almost any other sector of the U.S. economy. Seeking to end the public's ignorance and improve workers' living and working conditions, this book addresses the major factors that affect farmworkers' lives while offering practical strategies for action on farmworker issues. The contributors to this book are all farmworker advocates--student and community activists and farmworkers themselves. Focusing on workers in the Southeast United States, a previously understudied region, they cover a range of issues, from labor organizing, to the rise of agribusiness, to current health, educational, and legal challenges faced by farmworkers. The authors blend coverage of each issue with practical suggestions for working with farmworkers and other advocates to achieve justice in our food system both regionally and nationally. Charles D. Thompson, Jr., is Director of Curriculum and Education at the Center for Documentary Studies, as well as an adjunct assistant professor in the Departments of Cultural Anthropology and Religion, at Duke University. Melinda F. Wiggins is Executive Director of Student Action with Farmworkers in Durham, North Carolina.