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Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 331–332 | Cite as

Seth M. Holmes: Fresh fruit, broken bodies: migrant farmworkers in the United States

University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 2013, 234 pp, ISBN: 978-0-520-27514-0
  • Julie GuthmanEmail author
Article
  • 452 Downloads

In current day discussions of the American food system gone awry, critics are often quick to attribute it to the federal commodity programs and their roles in making junk food cheap. The idea such critics promote is that if we ceased subsidizing the production of, say, corn, which is ubiquitous in snack food, and paid the “true cost” of that food, healthier fresh fruits and vegetables would seem a relative bargain. Although the current commodity programs are pretty indefensible, what this line of argument routinely omits is that those healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, celebrated by the contemporary food movement and health professionals alike, are also artificially cheap, subsidized not by federal payments, but by the bodies of those who cultivate and harvest them. This is not to say that federal policy is blameless. Border and immigration policies provide a different kind of subsidy to fresh fruit and vegetable production, which requires large amounts of labor. By relegating...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

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