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A powerful campaign displays the hardworking farmers behind your Thanksgiving meal

A powerful campaign displays the hardworking farmers behind your Thanksgiving meal

You wouldn't have your delicious, several-course meal on Thanksgiving Day without the hard, gruelling efforts of farmers across the USA.

Farm workers across the United States spend several hours a day performing back-breaking work for minimum wage just so you can have food to put on the table on Thanksgiving Day. It can be easy to forget the hands that picked our vegetables and fruits when we are enjoying a plate of mash or a side of roasted green beans, but the country's largest farmer's union, United Farm Workers of America, wanted to make sure you remember the farmers this year as you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast. In a now-viral Twitter campaign, they asked users to share their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. In response, the union shared some of what they knew about the work behind the ingredients.



 

They posted a call for responses from Twitter users with the hashtags "We Feed You" and "Thank a Farm Worker." Soon enough, the replies came pouring in. One person shared perhaps the most popular "dish," particularly if you have to spend the holidays with your family members: wine. The union responded, "This wine grape worker Lorenzo earns $160 per ton of grapes picked for Napa region wines. Once grapes are picked they are hand cleaned for debris." They also gave the user a new union wine they could try out, Chateau Ste Michelle. This wine reportedly has a reputation for providing fair wages and taking worker safety seriously.



 

Another user wrote in: turkey stuffing, with, among other star ingredients, parsley. The United Farm Workers Twitter page responded with a video of a farm worker cutting down parsley at lightning speed. They wrote, "Parsley workers earn around $1.90 per crate of 60-65 bundles. The skill of the worker [in this video] is astonishing." The clip was from near Oxnard, a city in Ventura County, California. One user mentioned a different kind of stuffing, cornbread, which similar to turkey stuffing uses both carrots and celery. "Carrots and celery both have juices that are 'photoreactive' and can be dangerous to exposed skin when harvesting," the union shared, in addition to posting a photo of farm workers picking the carrots. "You’ll notice here these workers are careful to cover their skin even though it was over 100 degrees."



 

One of the most astonishing photos was uploaded in response to an individual who stated that their favorite Thanksgiving dish was cranberry-orange relish. The union stated, "There are two methods for cranberry harvest: wet method and dry method. Pictured is the ‘wet harvest’ method where the cranberry bog is flooded and the plants are shaken to dislodge the submerged berries. They have an air pocket inside them so they float up to be collected." In another post in response to someone who volunteered the dish pineapple cranberry sauce, the Twitter page shared a mindblowing video depicting the efficiency of pineapple pickers.



 

The union's campaign is a powerful way to reimagine your Thanksgiving dinner table. Do you know where all your ingredients come from, and if they were sourced from sustainable farms that treat their workers well? While it may be a privilege to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are ethically harvested, we can all do our parts this year by learning more about the produce we consume. This is particularly important as farm workers have been toiling in order to make sure we are well-fed even in the middle of a pandemic. If you would like to help support the work of the Union Farm Workers of America, you can visit this page to make a donation to their cause. Kudos to the team for raising awareness about farmers' rights in such a meaningful way!



 

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