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Enjoying that Tomato On Your Sandwich? Don't Forget to Thank a Farmworker Enjoying that Tomato On Your Sandwich? Don't Forget to Thank a Farmworker
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Enjoying that Tomato On Your Sandwich? Don't Forget to Thank a Farmworker

by Sanjay Rawal

March 30, 2013


This is Farmworker Awareness Week but how many of us are aware of the critical role of farmworkers much less aware that there’s even a week dedicated to them? We eat 280 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables a day—from supermarkets, restaurants, cafeterias and fast food establishments. And all of it is picked by hand.

Ironically these workers are among the most abused and poorly paid people in the nation. As longterm farmworker advocate Eva Longoria says, “This is not an immigration issue. This is a human rights issue.”

I’m a filmmaker by profession and in my new film Food Chains to be released later this year, I dig deeper into the injustices in farm labor, after being inspired by an early morning drive in the summer of 2011. I was in south Florida, following my iPhone’s schizophrenic GPS directions as I drove from beachside Ft. Myers to Orlando for a flight back to New York. Rather than take me up the six-lane superhighway, my phone took me on the shortest route– through swampy central Florida. It was dark. I was tired. I didn’t know any better

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