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Appetite for Knowledge

Food Justice.. For All.

Book Review: “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States”– Seth M. Holmes, PhD, MD

How can we value one life over another?  One being is nourished by the food provided by another who suffers in providing that nourishment. Must it be so..?

Topics such as health & nutrition, eating your veggies and warding off cancer and heart disease tend to be in different conversations than those involving migrant labor, guarding our borders, ‘illegal workers’, the dream act and the like.  Should we be having both of these conversations at the same dinner party?  Turns out these topics are more intertwined than we tend to think.


“We dedicate everything to the fields, we are field workers.  We are workers; ever since we’re born we’re planting… Poor people from Oaxaca come here; we come here to give away our strength and everything and they don’t do anything for us.. Because of our will this government survives.- Samuel, 31 y.o. Triqui Mexican father, speaking with his family and me over tamales in his labor camp shack, rural Washington State, summer 2004, ‘Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies’- pg 30.

Tip of the Iceberg

In the book ‘Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies’ Seth Holmes dives into this topic from a personal as well as anthropological vantage point.  As enlightening and poignant as this book is.. It is merely the tip of the iceberg.  How are we willing to change our food system that will not only honor our bodies in a healthy way, while honoring the lives and bodies of those bringing us the food that nourishes us?  This is a matter of life, love and justice.  It is important to truly know where our food is coming from, how it’s treated and who is bringing it to us. And once you know.. you can never un-know.

Failing to Recognize the Association

“Holmes lets us know in no uncertain terms why we often fail to recognize the association between our ‘care of the self’ and the suffering imposed on indigenous Mexican farm workers that has been rendered invisible through the naturalization of racialized hierarchies.  He shows us the urgency of recognizing that global assemblages are unequally structured and, although they impose themselves on all of us, they distribute embodied suffering deferentially onto structurally vulnerable populations.”  (‘Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies’ Forward by Philippe Bourgois, pg xii)

Peaked your interest.. but don’t want to take my word for it? Check out this link for more information, and then head to a library near you!

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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