Food Justice delegation writers do what they do best!

Check out reports from Francis Moore Lappe, Raj Patel, Tom Philpott of, and Eric Holt-Gimenez of Food First on March 5th visit to Immokalee…

Last week’s visit to Immokalee by some of the leading lights of the growing Food Justice movement generated headlines.

But it did more than that. It also opened the eyes of some hardened veterans of grassroots struggles for a fairer food system, bringing many of the writers and activists from that movement into direct contact with the brutal living and working conditions faced by Florida’s farmworkers for the first time. Here below are some of their reports (and click here to see the photo report from the 3/5/09 visit):

UPDATE (3/23/09): Siena Chrisman, of the food justice organization World Hunger Year (WHY), sent her own reflection on the visit along last week. Here’s an excerpt, describing the community meeting observed by the Food Justice delegation: “Meeting facilitation rotates among CIW leadership; the soft-spoken Lucas Benitez ran the meeting we attended more like he was having a casual chat with a few friends than leading a meeting of 100 people just days before a major action against Governor Crist in Tallahassee.” read more

  • Raj Patel, “Apartheid in America,” Stuffed and Starved: “It was an inspirational time, and it is clearly in everyone’s interest that the kind of apartheid that characterises American agriculture (more than other industries) come to an end. The tides of history turned against Apartheid. They will turn against the injustice in the fields.” read more
  • Francis Moore Lappe, “The Secret — I Saw, Close-up, the Real Root of Global Economic Collapse,” Huffington Post: “We all know that when a big tree is toppled in a storm, its roots get exposed. In today’s financial hurricane, big roots are sticking out of Immokalee’s sandy soils. There, this week, as part of a delegation sponsored by Just Harvest, suddenly abstract economic “forces” got very real for me — embodied in human lives, human faces.” read more
  • Tom Philpott, Immokalee Diary, Part 1, Part 2, “Right across the street from the parking lot stands the CIW’s community center, a simple, functionalist building whose very existence quietly counteracts the power represented by the wheezing, grower-owned buses. Honestly, the community center at times felt like liberated space in a war zone — a place dedicated to improving worker lives in a place seemingly designed to destroy them.” read more
  • Eric Holt-Gimenez, “The Coalition of Immokalee Workers: Fighting modern day slavery in the industrial food system,” Food First: “Upon my return from Immokalee I mentioned my trip to my sister-in-law, who is a rural sociologist from Guatemala. “Immokalee!” she cried, “The campesinos in the Highlands all fear that place!” Sadly, “ground zero” for modern slavery practices in the U.S. is well known—and dreaded—by indigenous people in Mesoamerica. Indeed, for some it is a “gate of no return.” read more

And for something completely different, check out this rapid-fire animation of hundreds of photos from the recent theater and press conference in Tallahassee (by none other than Mr. JJ Tiziou, of course). It’s like watching two whole days unfold in two minutes!