Following Marx's theory of social reproduction, I argue that agribusiness benefits from food assistance programs that are available to farmworkers, as they assist workers minimally enough to keep laborers working in the fields, while distracting food assistance providers from the root causes of farmworker food insecurity. These programs simultaneously redistribute excess food that workers have labored over and cannot afford. Based on ethnographic fieldwork on California's Northern Central Coast, I outline how these programs act to reinforce structural food insecurity by ensuring that workers are provided with their most basic food needs. Although such approaches show evidence of providing crucial food for farmworkers in times of need, these programs ultimately allow agribusiness to feed their workers via charity, while maintaining low wages.
- Farm labor
- Food injustice
- Food insecurity
- Theory of social reproduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science