Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Movie Tip: Food Chains

Food Chains - Movie Review

Or: Story of Greed and Abuse


More and more for less and less. Farm workers pay the price for the food industry wars. The film "Food Chains" reveals methods of modern slavery - and the small successes of activists in their war against slavery and abuse.

The movie features Eva Longoria and producer of "Food Inc" and "Fast Food Nation" Eric Schlosser. 

This true and thrilling story shows how a small group of workers achieves a small success in fighting corporate greed.

Immokalee, Florida: The farm worker tells it like it is:  "You are poor because you make somebody else rich." Lucas Benitez is fighting for the human rights of tomato pickers.

For years he's bringing the conditions under which workers there have to suffer to our attention. Seasonal workers make about $35 per day. They are mostly immigrants from Latin America. Who else would do this back breaking job?

At 5 am they take the bus and drive to the tomato fields. Then they pick tomatoes. Bucket after bucket - exposed to the blazing sun. Only at 8 PM, they return to the containers where they live under terrible conditions. Women get sexually harassed - men who complain risk their jobs.

Corporations have responsibility


The workers do not blame the farmers so much. They are not responsible anymore for what is happening in the tomato fields.

Responsible are American corporations like Walmart Kroger Safeway or Publix. And fast food chains like Burger King or McDonald's. 

Since the 80ties, they dictate the prices, the rules - and the market is merciless. Who offers the cheapest tomatoes will get the deal. What if an even cheaper vendor pops up? It can happen that gigantic mountains of tomatoes rot because the supermarket chain decided to buy from another farmer who offers even cheaper produce. Overnight the workers lose their jobs. 

Millions and millions of profit are being made each season, but the workers see nothing of it.

Not even hunger strike helps


What the workers are demanding sounds pretty humble to me. One cent more per pound is what they are asking. That would double their daily wage. 

The film shows what activist have achieved over the years. It is not good enough but they are to be thanked for their continued work against corporate greed on the cost of the health of the workers. 

Fast food chains like Taco Bell Burger King McDonald's agreed to the "fair food" program. In January of 2014, even Walmart gave in. The influential and powerful supermarket chain Publix until this day refuses even to talk to the activists. Not even a six-day hunger strike office could convince Publix to start the discussion.

This thrilling documentary demonstrates the problem with modern slavery in the food industry and uses Florida as an example.

After watching this movie, you will be inspired to demand fair food. 

Prime members can watch it for free HERE

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