Essay about Issues Surrounding the Migrant Farm Worker

Essay about Issues Surrounding the Migrant Farm Worker

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More and more health-conscious individuals are scrutinizing the source of the food their family consumes. However, even the most conscientious consumer is not fully aware of the exhaustive efforts and struggle to get a juicy, ripe strawberry or that plump tomato in the middle of winter, even in Florida. These foods are harvested and picked mostly by seasonal and migrant farm workers. Migrant workers hail, in large part, from Mexico and the Caribbean, and their families often travel with them. Migrant farm workers must endure challenging conditions so that Americans can have the beautiful selection of berries, tomatoes, and other fresh foods often found at places like a farmer’s market or a traditional super market. Seasonal and migrant farm workers suffer a variety of health problems as a result of their constant exposure to stress, the elements, and chemicals such as pesticides. They are paid minimal wages and are expected to work long hours of strenuous labor for pennies on the dollar per piece or per hour. The migrant families are expected to live in substandard quarters and transported to various work sites in unsafe transportation. The fresh fruits and vegetables consumers purchase with little thought reach supermarkets at a cost that is not reflected in the retail price. This cost is ultimately absorbed by farm workers in Florida and other areas throughout the country, who are among the poorest of American workers.
The migrant worker community in states like Florida, Texas, and California is often an ‘obscure population’ of the state. They live in isolated communities and have very little stability or permanence. According to the Florida Department of Health, 150,000 to 200,000 migrant workers work in the State of Fl...

... middle of paper ...

... and unsafe. The struggles the migrant farm worker faces are of the most severe of any industry, and yet, they are true to their craft. They always ensure the product they harvest meets the expectations of the American consumer.

Works Cited

(n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2014, from
(n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2014, from
(n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2014, from National Farmworker Ministry:
(n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2014, from Southern Poverty Law Center:
Chiswick, B. R. (2006, June 3). The Worker Next Door. New York Times.

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