Who Should We Thank For Our Daily Bread?

The best humor always has a grain of truth to it. The humor in the above picture has several loaves of bread made from the amount of grain. From 2010, came this report:

Most of the one million farm workers in America are immigrants, up to a half are thought to be in the United States illegally.

As summer fruits and vegetables ripen across U.S. farmland, the work of harvesting them depends on illegal immigrants.

The reliance is so heavy that farmers, who tend to vote more conservatively, have rejected Congressional Republican sponsored bills that put more stringent requirements on documenting the legal status of its work force.

Supporters of E-Verify, an electronic system that is currently mandatory for most federal contractors but voluntary for other employers, argue that it would eliminate any doubt about workers’ legal status. But farmers say it could cripple a $390 billion industry that relies on hundreds of thousands of willing, low-wage immigrant workers to pick, sort and package everything from avocados to zucchini.

“This would be an emergency, a dire, dire situation,” said Nancy Foster, president of the U.S. Apple Association, adding that the prospect of an E-Verify check would most likely mean that many immigrant workers would simply not show up. “We will end up closing down.”

That sentiment is echoed by growers like George Bonacich, an 81-year-old apricot farmer who has been working the same patch of land in Patterson, 80 miles east of San Francisco, since 1969.

My point is, when you think of food production reform, including farming of both produce AND meat, conversations will inevitably have to include discussion about migrant workers, immigration, and how do we come to terms with the fact that a fair amount of our food has to, either through necessity or greed, hire undocumented workers.

(h/t to Cuéntame for the graphic – note: facebook link. Also: Changed Title )