So You Want To Be a Farmworker…

Oh sure, it seems like a lot of fun, raising chickens in the city and growing vegetables on the roof, but admit it–deep down inside you’ve always wanted to take your authenticity to the next level and be a real farmworker. Now, thanks to the United Farmworkers, you can! They’ve launched a brilliant new website: Take Our Jobs, which gives you the opportunity to not only return to the land, but possibly take employment away from a pesky undocumented worker. Epic win!

All you have to do is fill out an application. As the website says:

Farm workers are ready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace them in the field, we will use our knowledge and staff to help connect the unemployed with farm employers. Just fill out the form to the right and continue on to the request for job application.

There’s a brief job description:

Job may include using hand tools such as knives, hoes, shovels, etc. Duties may include tilling the soil, transplanting, weeding, thinning, picking, cutting, sorting & packing of harvested produce. May set up & operate irrigation equip. Work is performed outside in all weather conditions (Summertime 90+ degree weather) & is physically demanding requiring workers to bend, stoop, lift & carry up to 50 lbs on a regular basis.

Sign up today!

–Snacktime (I spotted this on Civil Eats, a terrific website; Stephen Colbert, who is the national spokesperson for the campaign, will be highlighting it on his show July 8th)

Little Orphan SIfton

Critics spend a lot of time eating the roast chicken, the mashed potatoes with chives, the steak frites, all the standard meat-and-taties entrees that average diners get all the time. So when a delicate little octopus liver comes along, poached in monkey blood, with a veal-and-cocoa ganache? It’s all they want to try.

Sam Sifton, on why food critics often write about the esoteric. Poor things. This must also be why fashion magazines (and the NYT Style section) only write about super-expensive designer clothes—because they’re bored. It’s not because they are ignoring the fact that their readers can’t afford what they’re covering.

Food-Industrial Complex

The second lens is how, since the 1970s, wages adjusted for inflation have stagnated, and starting about the same time—not coincidentally—the USDA switches policies and starts encouraging farmers to grow as much food as possible and you get this long period of declining food prices; you get this steady drop in food expenditures as a percentage of income. I don’t think you can run an economy with structurally stagnated wages without food being really cheap.

Food Fighter : CJR

Really, really great interview at the Columbia Journalism review with Tom Philpott of Grist, pointing out the class issues in food politics.