It is ironic. Farm workers, mostly invisible, undervalued contributors to our societies have now become essential workers. As if that was ever different. People everywhere need to eat, a fundamental necessity,  it only now becomes apparent apparently. 

Although, those who hope this pandemic will alter our societal relationships toward more equitable ones, may be disappointed. I am hopeful, but still skeptical, especially after reading the United States new policy of providing immigrant workers a letter that allows them to work. A good thing, you think, however, deportation is still part of the risk. What has changed, only the fear there are not enough workers to work the land and harvest the coveted crops. It is far from a solidarity measure.

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As someone who has worked in the field and in organic food production, I’m aware of the lurking disease-causing pathogens. It is always there, salmonella, listeria, you name it, it keeps you on your toes to make sure your herd is healthy, your crops are strong and retain diversity. Minimize pharmaceutical ‘aids’ to times when there is no other option, as these can compromise our immunity when we most need it. Awareness of a delicate balance is a constant, trying to nurture a rich beneficial microbial ecosystem, something we can’t normally see, just feel, that will be our best ally in keeping harmful intruders out.

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Back to ‘farm hands’, the people who are invested in making sure the fields are worked and harvested, often risking their own health, now more than ever. They deserve as much applause as our health care workers and hopefully we realize that exposing our farm workers to dangerous practices, such as using toxic pesticides,  can have a trickle down effect. Healthy food is a requirement for maintaining healthy populations, a no-brainer. Respect life, all life.