Currently Browsing: Labor

Animal behavior: Crackdowns on meatpacking workers give new meaning to ‘inhumane’

Mainstream media and many of the blogs covered the raid of the Agriprocessors, Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, IA when it took place back in May. It was the largest immigration raid of a single site by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in history: Nearly 400 immigrant workers were...

Bill Moyers Journal looks at worker safety in the poultry industry

Back in February, the Charlotte Observer published a shocking six-part series on the human suffering involved in producing cheap chicken. "The Cruelest Cuts" package looked at typical working conditions at a poultry plant, the makeup of the workforce, the sorry state of government oversight, and how the...

Rock bottom of the food chain: Children in the fields

Prepare yourself for Food and Society Conference overload — Elanor and I are here in Chandler, AZ, at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's annual food-movement meeting and thanks to an angel named Nicole de Beaufort, there is practically an army of bloggers this time. Basically, I'm hanging out with half our blog...

Digest – Blogs: Farmers as serfs, re-naturalized landscapes, Logsdon on carnivorism

"Kill your buddy": A guest post uses Pilgrim's Pride poultry operations in North Carolina to explain what a clustercluck our supposedly free-market meat industry is. "Like all integrators, Pilgrim’s Pride determines the cost of the farmer’s investment, and therefore debt,...

Coming home to industrial ag: A tour of the Central Valley

There’s an image that’s stuck with me from the cross-country drive that my dad and I took last summer. It was one of many late-night stints at the wheel, perhaps 11 p.m., and we were hurtling along through the Utah desert. A sign at the last gas station had warned us of a nearly 100-mile...

Digest – News: Apple-moth exposé, payment limit moving forward, food crisis

Holy smoking spraygun, Batman!!!: The company that makes one of the apple-moth pesticides that state officials are considering spraying over the Bay Area is coincidentally owned by a wealthy California agribusinessman — one who's also coincidentally been a generous contributor to Gov. Arnold...

Digest – Features: The littlest farmworkers, free-meal stigma, defending soul food

Wasn't the Green Revolution supposed to save the children?: A comprehensive look at the problem of child labor around the world. According to the UN International Labor Organization, there are an estimated 218 million child laborers worldwide — and 7 out of 10 of them are in agriculture. Farmers in...

Nuggets of truth: The Charlotte Observer carves up the poultry industry

As the massive outcry in response to the Humane Society's expose of a California beef-processing plant shows, Americans are extremely sensitive to the mistreatment of animals — even those we intend to eat. It would be nice if we showed we cared even half as much about the human-rights abuses that are...

Eric Schlosser would rather chew on a wooden podium than cloned meat

The 2008 Ecological Farming Conference (EcoFarm) kicked off in Pacific Grove, CA, tonight with a talk on sustainability given by Eric Schlosser. His best-seller "Fast Food Nation" was not really about food, he said, but about this country's massive experiment in disposability —...

Bringing your work home: Poultry workers carry drug-resistant E. coli into the community

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been in the news a lot lately. Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle had a front page story about the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One of the causes is the routine addition of antibiotics to animal feed as "growth promoters" — including some...

Digest – Features: Food in ’08, immigration ideals, NPR on hormone-free labeling

Dietgeist predictions around the media: The Philadelphia Inquirer sees more "local, fresh, natural, organic" offerings on our horizon (although we shudder to think we might be getting them from convenience stores); "eco-friendly" and "farmers" (the "new food stars")...

Digest – News: PA still mulling “rBST-free” labels, USDA admits impotence, will flu make pigs fly?

Organic milk sales to skyrocket in Pennsylvania: That's the only silver lining in the news that as of Feb. 1, Pennsylvanian consumers won't be able to tell the difference between milk from farms that inject their cows with rBST and that from those that don't — unless the governor blocks the move by...

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