Organic food is becoming mainstream in America, and that’s a fact. According to USDA data, 28 percent of U.S. consumers buy organic food (fresh and processed) every week; more than 50 percent of what they buy comes from big retailers and supermarket chains like Walmart, Costco, and other behemoths.
Buying and consuming organic food makes us feel good. We’ve been told it’s good for our health and good for the health of the planet. More and more of us are even taking the extra step to ensure that we procure as much of our organic food as possible from local producers, whom we meet at our weekly farmers’ market or whose delivery truck comes to our door with our CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) box of goodies.
Most of us also have a huge blind spot regarding the origin of the food we eat, however: the people in the fields who plant, grow and harvest it. Who are they? How much are they getting paid? What working conditions do they experience day in day out?
There are 1.4 million farm workers in the United-States, according to the most common estimates. A third of them work on Californian farms. The rest can be found mostly in Florida, Washington State, Texas, Oregon and North Carolina. Two out of three work on large farms.