Slavery on the Farm


Apricots – takes some doing to beat the ground squirrels to them!

I spend a lot of time in this blog urging you to grow your own food or buy from local growers with transparent practices so you know exactly what you’re getting. Better taste, better nutrition, more variety, less dependence on Big Ag, yada, yada, yada (as some are undoubtedly thinking). But there’s another and much more troubling reason to grow and source your own.
Yes, you heard me. Slavery didn’t go out with the death of the plantation system after the American Civil War, but is alive and well in today’s world. Whether in the seafood industry, farming or ranching – just to name a few – slaves are bringing food to your table. Those cucumbers from Mexico may have been grown by child slaves. The tilipia on your restaurant plate may have come from Thai fishing boats with enslaved workers, and the lamb chop or steak from an isolated ranch where Peruvian sheepherders and ranch hands work long hours in the US.
A dear friend of mine is using art to bring the attention of others to the issue of human slavery and human trafficking. Sandra Relyea became interested in the subject some years ago and expresses her work in a series of images she calls shadow art. Her latest collection is Demeter’s Children, for the Greek myth in which Demeter’s daughter was held captive by the king of the underworld.
I hope you will do a little research on your own and help decrease the market for slave-raised food by growing and sourcing your food.

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