Food Studies

Dickinson College Food Studies Certificate Program

Month: October 2020

Humanizing Food Ethics

Blog Post by Alex Cohen, October 22, 2020

The Pandemic’s effects on Migrant Farmworkers 

During the course of Introduction to Food Studies, Professor Halpin has stressed the topic of
hardships experienced by migrant workers in the US. Although these workers experience
problems such as low pay, no health insurance, substandard housing, and lack of
transportation, they now have to overcome a new challenge: COVID-19. Many farms across
America have reported outbreaks among hundreds of workers, yet the government has not
attempted to create any enforceable rules to protect these farmworkers or help by instructing
them what to do when these workers get sick. Workers have explained the struggle of
protecting themselves due to the fact that most of them live within close quarters, sleeping in
bunk beds, and sharing bathrooms and kitchens. Also, the buses in which they travel in are very
crowded. On top of these issues, many migrants have explained the struggle of wearing masks
for several hours in the hot weather and how it is difficult to not only breath but produce food
in a timely manner. Additionally, many of these migrant workers emphasize how they are
scared of the virus because they often do not have health insurance or paid sick leave. Due to
the spread of COVID-19 amongst these farmworkers, the agricultural workforce may be
doomed with dramatic negative implications for the national food supply. As the virus
continuously affects several farms, many processors, distributors, retailers, and even
consumers are also at risk, as the food could possibly be contaminated by these agricultural
workers. In order to resolve these problems, lawmakers and congress must take action to
safeguard the farmworkers on the front lines of the pandemic. Also, the implementation of
testing and treatment of COVID-19 within these farms must be easily accessible, regardless of
the immigration status.

References:

Protecting Farmworkers From Coronavirus and Securing the Food Supply

https://khn.org/news/as-crisis-grows-farms-try-to-balance-health-of-field-workers-and-foodsupply/

A Virtual Tour of Introduction to Food Studies During the Fall of 2020

Despite this semester’s remote learning, students enrolled in the Introduction to Food Studies course have been exploring food systems and foodways through interactive online classes and labs. Not only have they spent to fall semester learning from each other and special guests, they have also had opportunities to reflect on the expansive field of food scholarship. Some highlights from this semester’s class include Food System Snapshots that were created by students to help illustrate their regional or hyper-local food scene. Here is a selection of some of the submissions!

Dugan Road Creamery by Mary Ritter

Patch of Inspiration by Dee Findlay

Food System Snapshot by Eveny Mendoza

My Aunt Col’s Garden by James Marks

 

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