Some states have greatly tightened the noose on illegal immigration. The result is that crops are left to rot in the fields for a lack of skilled workers:
Growers are moving toward more mass-commodity crops that can be harvested mechanically and away from organic, sustainable methods.
Even with the high unemployment rates, Americans are not stepping up to take these jobs:
They cannot make decent money at it, they do not have the skills, and they are not physically fit enough to work like a skilled farmhand.
These farmhands have skills because many have been toughened by farm work since they were seven or eight years old.
Children have been working in the fields with their parents to provide income for their families. While most of us in the U.S. have children who go to school most of the year, the migrants' children are in the fields, harvesting our produce, making less than minimum wage, and facing pesticide exposure and other dangers we wouldn't THINK of exposing children to. Farm work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. An estimated 400,000 children in the United States face these abuses, and it's perfectly legal due to an outdated law from 1939.
A new documentary, "The Harvest/La Cosecha," is bringing these abuses before the public's eye.
These are yet more reasons to eat locally, seasonally, and to grow as much of our own food as we can. One of the foods left to rot for lack of workers was asparagus. Well, let's grow asparagus in our own back yards and take control over our food supply and the conditions under which we grow it!