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Who is being exploited for your meal?

We hear all the time in this late capitalist culture about worker exploitation. Most of the time it comes in the form of immigrant labor working in agriculture. Here in the United States, it can be close to impossible to track down the source plant of the food we eat, let alone whose labor was bought to do the work to harvest that plant or animal, and at what price.

Here at Jamieson Farm, we have a somewhat idealistic future planned for the food we grow. A future where the food we produce can be raised with as little exploitation as possible. Our animals are respected, our soil is respected, and our labor is respected. Whether that means taking the longer route of no till soil prep to preserve the microorganisms living beneath us, or working without hired help until we can afford to pay them a living wage.

This in no way means that we are perfect. We are humans living in on earth, after all. Putting in the work to build a closed loop food system like we are attempting to do, while existing as a small family of four, on a teachers salary, means that we make a lot of sacrifices. It means we are sometimes grabbing that fast food from exploited workers for the family on the way home from baseball practice, wishing we had more time to have prepared a home-cooked meal to bring with us.

In a perfect world, no one would be exploited for us to eat. The people making food for my family deserve to be paid a living wage. Maybe by the time our kids are grown worker exploitation will be a thing of the past. One can hope.

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