“There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it.”
Farmworkers have long been exploited, living and working in difficult conditions. They endure everything from low pay to no pay to abuse to sexual harassment. They’re often paid by the piece or pound instead of hourly, with few to no benefits.
Food Chains highlights the cost these workers endure to get food to our plates, and how big food companies, like restaurants and supermarkets, are complicit in oppressing and exploiting workers. These industries have enormous power over the agricultural system, influencing prices and forcing farms to slash costs, which leaves workers in poverty and subjected to terrible working conditions.
The film explores these issues through the lens of a group of farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida, who launch a hunger strike at the headquarters of a supermarket chain to ask for better wages and working conditions.
Workers lobby for the chain to sign onto the Fair Food Program, which asks large food retailers to pay a penny a pound more for tomatoes.
Our food system is largely a hidden one; most people aren’t aware of the impacts on people, animals, or the earth.
Food Chains is a useful introduction to one of the consequences of our cheap, convenient food (exploited workers) and offers one small step forward toward a more just food chain.