Documenting the Politics of Food: Photographs from the Rubenstein Library Collections

Picked, Plucked, and Packaged: A Farmworker's Role in the Journey of Your Food

Potato sorting facility, Carteret County, NC, June 1972<br />
<br />
Alex Harris Photographs and Papers<br />
archival pigment print

Potato sorting facility, Carteret County, NC, June 1972

Alex Harris Photographs and Papers
archival pigment print

Picked, Plucked and Packaged: A Farmworker's Role in the Journey of your Food

The food on your table and the goods throughout your home follow a complex route and undergo multiple processes before they reach a store shelf. Food does not merely leave a farmworker’s hands and appear in the basket at your local store. It must be processed--cleaned, sorted, stored, packaged, and transported.

The work of processing our foods and everyday products includes meat processing and packaging for the poultry, beef and pork industries. Farmworkers also staff sorting and storage facilities for a wide range of products from fruit and vegetables to cotton and tobacco. The work is often dangerous and under-regulated. These photographs attempt to make the behind-the-scenes work visible.