Did you ever stop to look at the fruits in the grocery store? Did you ever notice that a lot of them look next to perfect? Some of the migrant workers who grow America's fruit and vegetables. are people living densely in shanty like structures made of scrap metal and cinder block, surrounded by vast fields and long rows of greenhouses. Strangers in a strange land who didn't speak the language, hundreds of miles from home, they lived at the mercy of labor contractors who, they claimed, made false promises and paid rock-bottom wages. Like all Big Ag-dominated areas, the place had a feeling of desolation: all monocropped fields, mostly devoid of people, and lots of billboards hawking the products of agrichemical giants Monsanto and Syngenta.
Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones and the author of The Horrifying Reason Why Your Fruit Is Umblemished hetalks about how your fruits make their way from the farm to your stores shelf.
Laborers are required to use hand sanitizer and keep their nails trimmed so that they don't damage the fruit.