Advertisement

Food provisioning strategies among Latinx farm workers in southwestern Idaho

  • Lisa MeierottoEmail author
  • Rebecca Som Castellano
Symposium/Special Issue

Abstract

Food provisioning refers to the mental, physical and emotional labor involved in providing food for oneself and one’s family. The labor of food provisioning has been found to be made more difficult by a number of factors, including gender, socioeconomic status, age, and geography. However, little research has been done examining the labor of food provisioning among farm workers, a significantly marginalized population in the United States. In order to examine the food provisioning strategies and struggles of farm workers, we have been conducting pilot research with Latinx agricultural workers in southwestern Idaho. Employing a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, we examine the various strategies that farm workers use to provide food for themselves and their families, including accessing food banks, utilizing food stamps, purchasing groceries and accepting food from friends, family and employers. We consider this from a wider lens of “caring labor” (Carney in The unending hunger: Tracing women and food insecurity across borders, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2015). In addition, we explore food provisioning strategies in the context of economic and demographic changes in Idaho. We observe the ways in which changing crop patterns, in particular the growth the hops industry, relates to a transition in the labor force, especially an increase in women farm workers. We have also observed a shift away from employing migrant farm labor and towards the employment of “settled” Latinx residents from surrounding communities. These changes all influence the labor of food provisioning for rural Idaho Latinx families.

Keywords

Farm workers Food provisioning Gender in agriculture Agrifood system change 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding for this project was provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, Casita Nepantla and The School of Public Service at Boise State University. The authors would like to thank undergraduate research assistants Clariza Arteaga and Anna Zigray for their work on this project. They would also like to thank the feedback provided by the blind reviewers.

References

  1. Allen, Patricia. 2004. Together at the table: Sustainability and sustenance in the American agifood system. University Park: The Pennsylvania University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, Patricia. 2008. Mining for justice in the food system: Perceptions, practices, and possibilities. Agriculture and Human Values 25 (2): 157–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, Patricia, and Carolyn Sachs. 2007. Women and food chains: The gendered politics of food. International Journal of Sociology of Food and Agriculture 15 (1): 1–23.Google Scholar
  4. Andersen, Margaret. 2011. Thinking about women: Sociological perspectives on sex and gender. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  5. Arcury, Thomas A., and Sara A. Quandt. 1998. Occupational and environmental health risks in farm labor. Human Organization 57 (3): 331–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arcury, Thomas A., Antonio Marín, Beverly M. Snively, Mercedes Hernández-Pelletier, and Sara A. Quandt. 2009. Reducing farmworker residential pesticide exposure: Evaluation of a lay health advisor intervention. Health Promotion Practice 10 (3): 447–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Asbed, Greg, and Sean Sellers. 2013. Fair food program: Comprehensive, verifiable and sustainable change for farmworkers. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change 16 (1): 1–11.Google Scholar
  8. Avakian, Arlene Voski, and Barbara Haber. 2005. From Betty Crocker to feminist food studies: Critical perspectives on women and food. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bammer, Erin. 2017. Canyon county faces massive housing crisis, with 4,700 in need of low-cost homes. Idaho Press. https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/canyon-county-faces-massive-housing-crisis-with-in-need-of/article_bc44d546-89df-5f6b-bdaf-037f47e02806.html. Accessed 2 Sept 2017.
  10. Beoku-Betts, Josephine A. 1995. We got our way of cooking things: Women, food and preservation of cultural identity among the Gullah. Gender and Society 9 (5): 535–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blake, Christine, Carole Devine, Elaine Wetherington, Margaret Jastran, Tracy Farreu, and Carole Bisogni. 2009. Employed parents satisfaction with food-choice coping strategies: Influence of gender and structure. Appetite 52 (3): 711–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boeije, Hennie. 2002. A purposeful approach to the constant comparative method in the analysis of qualitative interviews. Quality & Quantity 36: 391–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Borre, Kristen, Luke Ertle, and Mariaelisa Graff. 2010. Working to eat: Vulnerability, food insecurity, and obesity among migrant and seasonal farmworker families. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 53: 443–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brown, Sandy, and Christy Getz. 2011. Farmworker food insecurity and the production of hunger in California. In Cultivating food justice: race, class, and sustainability, ed. Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman, 121–146. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Carney, Megan A. 2015. The unending hunger: Tracing women and food insecurity across borders. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  16. Cartwright, Elizabeth, Diana Schow, Silvia Herrera, Yezenia Lora, Maricela Mendez, Deborah Mitchell, Elizabeth Pedroza, Leticia Pedroza, and Angel Trejo. 2006. Using participatory research to build an effective Type 2 Diabetes intervention: The process of advocacy among female Hispanic farmworkers and their families in Southeast Idaho. Women and Health 43 (4): 89–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chiappe, Maria B., and Cornelia Butler Flora. 1998. Gendered elements of the alternative agriculture paradigm. Rural Sociology 49: 183–209.Google Scholar
  18. Coleman, Mathew. 2015. U.S. immigration enforcement: Then and now, there and here. Nordia Geographical Publications 44 (4): 57–64.Google Scholar
  19. Coltrane, Scott. 2000. Research on household labor: Modeling and measuring the social embeddedness of routine family work. Journal of Marriage and Family 62: 1208–1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cornelius, Wayne. 2001. Death at the border: efficacy and unintended consequences of U.S. immigration control policy. Population and Development Review, 27 (4): 661–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cotter, David A. 2002. Poor people in poor places: Local opportunity structures and household poverty. Rural Sociology 67 (4): 534–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Counihan, Carole M. 1999. Food, power, and female identity in contemporary Florence. In In: The Anthropology of food and body, ed. C.M. Counihan, 43–60. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Counihan, Carole M. 2005. The border as barrier and bridge: Food, gender, and ethnicity in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. In From Betty Crocker to feminist food studies: critical perspectives on women and food, ed. A.V. Avakian and B. Haber. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  24. Crowley, Martha, and Kim Ebert. 2014. New rural immigrant destinations: Research for the 2010s. In Rural America in a globalizing world: problems and prospects for the 2010s, ed. Conner Bailey, Leif Jensen, and Elizabeth Ransom, 401–418. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.Google Scholar
  25. DeVault, Marjorie. 1991. Feeding the family: The social organization of caring work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Devine, Carol, Margaret Jastran, Jennifer Jabs, Elaine Wethington, Tracy Farell, and Carole Bisogni. 2006. “A lot of sacrifices”: Work-family spillover and the food choice coping strategies of low-wage employed parents. Social Science and Medicine 63: 2591–2603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Donham, Kelley, and Anders Thelin. 2016. Agricultural medicine: Rural occupational and environmental health, safety, and prevention, 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dueweke, Aubrey R., Gabriela Hurtado, and Joseph D. Hovey. 2015. Protective psychosocial resources in the lives of Latina migrant farmworkers. Journal of Rural Mental Health 39 (3–4): 162–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ellis, Sean. 2017. Idaho producers seeking H-2A workers could rise significantly. Capital Press. http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20171115/number-of-idaho-producers-seeking-h-2a-workers-could-rise-significantly. Accessed 15 Nov 2017.
  30. Gray, Margaret. 2013. Labor and the locavore: The making of a comprehensive food ethic. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  31. Harris, Jessica. 1989. Iron pots and wooden spoons: Africa’s gifts to new world cooking. New York: Atheneum.Google Scholar
  32. Harris, Jessica. 1995. The welcome table: African American heritage cooking. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  33. Harrison, Jill Lindsey, and Christy Getz. 2015. Farm size and job wuality: Mixed-methods studies of hired farm work in California and Wisconsin. Agriculture and Human Values 32 (4): 617–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hochschild, Arlie, and Anne Machung. 2012. The second shift: Working families and the revolution at home. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  35. Holmes, Seth. 2013. Fresh fruit, broken bodies: Migrant farmworkers in the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  36. Hooks, Jennifer L. 2010. Gender inequality in the welfare state: Sex segregation in housework. American Journal of Sociology 115 (5): 1480–1523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hupkens, Christianne, and Ronald A. Knibbe. 1998. Class differences in the food rules mothers impose on their children: A cross-national study. Social Science and Medicine 47: 1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Idaho Department of Education (IDE). 2019. Idaho Department of Education school lunch eligibility data by district. http://apps.sde.idaho.gov/CnpEligibility/Report. Accessed 9 Apr 2019.
  39. Idaho Food Bank. 2016. New data shows hunger remains issue in Idaho. http://idahofoodbank.org/new-data-shows-hunger-remains-major-problem-in-idaho/. Accessed 1 Feb 2016.
  40. Ip, Edward H., Santiago Saldana, Thomas A. Arcury, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Grisel Trejo, and Sara A. Quandt. 2015. Profiles of food security for US farmworker households and factors related to dynamic of change. American Journal of Public Health 105 (10): e42–e47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kiehne, Elizabeth, and Natasha S. Mendoza. 2015. Migrant and seasonal farmworker food insecurity: Prevalence, impact, risk factors, and coping strategies. Social Work in Public Health 30 (5): 397–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. 1997. The Temple Emanuel Fair and its cookbook, Denver 1888. In Recipes for reading, ed. Anne Bower, 136–153. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  43. Kresge, Lisa, and Chelsea Eastman. 2010. Increasing food security among agricultural workers in California’s Salinas Valley. Davis: California Institute for Rural Studies.Google Scholar
  44. Lastarria-Cornhiel, S. 2006. Feminization of agriculture: Trends and driving forces. Paper prepared for the World Development Report 2008. Washington, DC: World Bank. https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/68838/4589_Lastarria_Cornhiel2006_Feminization_of_A.pdf?sequence=1. Accessed 2 Feb 2017.
  45. Leigh, J.Paul, and Alvaro Medel-Herrero. 2015. Participation in the women, infants, and children (WIC) program as reported by documented and undocumented farm worker adults in the households. Journal of Agromedicine 20 (4): 409–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lobao, Linda, and Katherine Meyer. 1995. Economic decline, gender and labor flexibility in family-based enterprises: Midwestern farming in the 1980s. Social Forces 74 (2): 575–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lowe, Scott, Don Holley, Samia Islam, Joe Sandow, and Matthew Hurt. 2016. An economic analysis of the hop farming and craft brewing industries in Idaho. Self-Published.Google Scholar
  48. Maldonado, Marta Maria, Adela C. Licona, and Sarah Hendricks. 2016. Latin@ immobilities and alermobilities within the U.S. deportability regime. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 (2): 321–329.Google Scholar
  49. Martínez, Oscar. 2006. Troublesome border. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  50. McIntosh, Wm.Alex, and Mary Zey. 1998. Women as gatekeepers of food consumption: A sociological critique. In Food and gender: identity and power, ed. C.M. Counihan and S.L. Kaplan, 125–144. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  51. Meares, Alison. 1997. Making the transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture: Gender, social movement participation, and quality of life on the family farm. Rural Sociology 62 (1): 21–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014a. Hunger amidst plenty: Farmworker food insecurity and coping strategies in California. Local Environment 19 (2): 204–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014b. Subsidizing farmworker hunger: Food assistance programs and the social reproduction of California farm labor. Geoforum 57: 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Murphy, Jeanne, Julie Samples, Mavel Morales, and Nargess Shadbeh. 2015. “They talk like that, but we keep working”: Sexual harassment and sexual assault experiences among Mexican Indigenous farmworker women in Oregon. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 17 (6): 1834–1839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. National Brewers Association. 2018. Statistics: NATIONAL BEER SALES & PRODUCTION DATA. https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/national-beer-sales-production-data/. Accessed 18 Oct 2018.
  56. Nevins, Joseph. 2002. Operation Gatekeeper: The rise of the “illegal alien” and the making of the U.S.-Mexico boundary. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Oakes, Jeannie. 2003. Critical conditions for equity and diversity in college access: Informing policy and monitoring results. Los Angeles: University of California All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity.Google Scholar
  58. Pilcher, Jeffrey. 1997. Recipes for Patria: Cuisine, gender and nature in nineteenth-century Mexico. In Recipes for reading, ed. Anne Bower, 200–215. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  59. Pulgar, Camila, Grisel Trejo, Cynthia Suerken, Edward Ip, and Thomas Arcury. 2016. Economic hardship and depression among women in Latino farmworker families. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health 18 (3): 497–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Quandt, Sara, Thomas Acury, Colin K. Austin, and Luis F. Cabrera. 2001. Preventing occupational exposure to pesticides: Using participatory research with Latino farmworkers to develop an intervention. Journal of Immigrant Health 3 (2): 85–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Quandt, Sara A., Joseph G. Grzywacz, Grisel Trejo, and Thomas A. Arcury. 2014. Nutritional strategies of Latino farmworker families with preschool children: Identifying leverage points for obesity prevention. Social Science and Medicine 123: 72–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rodriguez, Lizette, Marcel Horowitz, Dorina Espinoza, Alberto Aguilera, Adela de la Torre, and Lucia L. Kaiser. 2015. The impact of the California drought on food security among rural families of Mexican origin. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk 6 (2): 11.Google Scholar
  63. Sachs, Carolyn. 1996. Gendered fields: Rural women, agriculture, and environment. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  64. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, Nampa. 2017. 2017 community health needs assessment. https://www.saintalphonsus.org/assets/documents/nampa/nampacommunityneedsassessment2017.pdf. Accessed 20 Sept 2018.
  65. Sano, Yoshie, Steven Garasky, Kimberly Greder, Christine Cook, and Dawn Browder. 2011. Understanding food insecurity among Latino immigrant families in rural America. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 32 (1): 111–123.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-010-9219-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Schmalzbauer, Leah. 2014. The last best place? Gender, family, and Migration in the new West. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Som Castellano, Rebecca. 2016. Alternative food networks and the labor of food provisioning: A third shift? Rural Sociology, 81: 445–469.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ruso.12104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2018. Definitions of food security. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security.aspx. Accessed 11 Nov 2018.
  69. USDA Economic Research Service. 2015. Food Access Research Atlas. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/. Accessed 20 June 2019.
  70. USDL. 2016. Findings from the national agricultural workers survey (NAWS) 2013–2014: A demographic and employment profile of United States farmworkers (Report No 12). Retrieved from https://www.doleta.gov/agworker/pdf/NAWS_Research_Report_12_Final_508_Compliant.pdf.
  71. Wells, Barbara. 2013. Daughters and granddaughters of farmworkers emerging from the long shadow of farm labour. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Whatmore, Sarah. 1991. Farming women: Gender, work, and family enterprise. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zúñiga, Víctor, and Rubén Hernández-León (eds.). 2005. New destinations: Mexican immigration in the United States. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public ServiceBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

Personalised recommendations