Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Thanksgiving: Gratitude for Farmers and Farm Workers

Field Worker at Draper Farms
Image by cproppe via Flickr

Here at Circle of Food we received many press releases for recipes and food preparation ideas for Thanksgiving. The ones that stood out are the ones that were posted on the blog.

As I’m shutting off my computer I noticed one I overlooked called Gratitude from Food Democracy Now!

This Thanksgiving, please give thanks to the farmers and farmworkers who make your meal possible.

(verbatim)
Dear Karyn,
It’s that time of year again. Every fall people travel across the country or just across town to share a meal with family, friends and loved ones in order to celebrate another year of health, happiness and good food. Born from the tradition of one tribe bravely and generously helping another tribe in a time of need, this celebration has turned into an annual feast where our nation sits down collectively to share in the gratitude over another bountiful harvest.

Here at Food Democracy Now!, we wanted to take a moment and say that we are all thankful for the opportunity to work with so many amazing people across the country who are dedicated to building a truly sustainable food system that improves the lives of farmers, workers, eaters, communities and the planet.

Every day I wake up looking for a way to convey one of the most important messages of our time: if you want to change the world, change how you eat. In addition, at Food Democracy Now! we strive to give you opportunities to help make that happen through positive action.

Central to the growing understanding of how what we eat impacts the planet is knowing where our food comes from, how it was raised, who grew it and helped that food find its way to our tables. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of incredible people and organizations out there working to educate more Americans and helping bring the change we need to thrive in the 21st century.

One tradition that we have in our household is that at every meal we take a moment to say what we are thankful for. Inevitably, it always comes back to the food: Who cooked it, who helped prepare it and who raised it and brought the food to our tables.

As we sit down to eat this symbolic meal, nothing could be as important as honoring the individuals that labor everyday on farms and in the fields, often doing backbreaking work, with very little financial reward to make it possible for us to nourish our bodies.

I wanted to share an important video with each of you and ask that you pass it on.

This video highlights an impressive campaign by The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) who have advocated tirelessly for the rights of farmworkers to be paid a decent wage for the work of picking tomatoes. Every day in Florida, workers go out into the fields under the hot sun to pick the tomatoes that end up on our plates.

For a full bucket of tomatoes, weighing 32 pounds, farm workers are only paid 45 to 50 cents. Unimaginably, this wage has not changed in more than 30 years. Fortunately, there are groups like the Coalition of Immokalee Workers who are advocating to change this.

Incredibly, these farmworkers are only asking for a raise of as little as a penny a pound.

As we eat our Thanksgiving meals this year, I want to ask that we all begin to think deeper about our food and the consequences that our meals have on everything around us. It’s really unfathomable that as little as a penny per pound could make a difference in someone’s life, but time after time, as we’ve found out, it’s the little changes that eventually add up.

Here at Food Democracy Now!, we’d like to honor all the farmers and farmworkers who make this day possible and to all the people across the country working tirelessly to bring us the stories of those who help make the world a better place by growing and harvesting our food.

With gratitude,

Dave Murphy
Founder and Executive Director
Food Democracy Now!

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