by Lauren Q.
Today, was about getting in touch with our food -- the industry, the workers that bring our food to us, and people who are working to improve the quality of the food we eat.
Last night, we learned the truth about where our food comes from by watching the documentary Food, Inc. The film exposed how a few large companies, like Monsanto, control all of our food -- where it comes from, what's in it, and how much it costs. This has had a major impact on farmers. Once farmers sign a contract with a big company, the company dictates how they grow it and what chemicals they spray on or put in it. As a result, most of the food we eat -- meat, vegetables, fruits -- are filled with chemicals that are harmful to our health.
At 6:30am this morning, we packed into the vans and drove down to Salinas for a Community Crawl at the Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association's (ALBA) organic farm in Salinas, CA. There, we learned how ALBA is training new farmers to grow organic and pesticide-free, using garlic to get rid of pests and a chicken tractor to fertilize the land. We also spent an hour getting our hands dirty helping one of ALBA's farmers weed the strawberry field and prune the plants so that the good strawberries can thrive.
For some R2W 2009 Participants, it was their first time working on a farm, others were had worked in the fields before. R2W 2009 Participants related to today's Community Crawl in different ways:
Alejandra, a Chicana from Los Angeles, thought about her mom working in a factory in L.A. and about the extra hardship that women who work in the fields experience.
Aaron, a working class Cambodian from Stockton, CA, remembered working in the fields when he was younger and put some economic context to the experience.
Joelle, a middle class Filipina from Minnesota, had never worked in the fields before, but realized that her dad used to work in the rice fields.
Kim, a middle class Chinese American from Alameda, CA, gained an appreciation for the hard work that it takes to bring our food to the grocery store.