Not even a decade has passed since Sergio Arau filmed A Day Without a Mexican, but 2012 may go down in history as the Year of No Meals Without a Mexican because of labor shortages in American fields and orchards. Since mid-year, there have been a growing number of state and nation-wide reports indicating that hand-picked vegetables and fruits produced in the United States will be unusually scarce this year.
This is not merely because of widespread drought but also because of a paucity of Mexican-born farm laborers remaining in the U.S. Earlier this season, the American Farm Bureau Federation predicted a $5 to 9 billion dollar loss in this year’s harvest of annual vegetable crops requiring hand-picking, largely due to a shortage of farmworkers.
When the food relocalization movement revved up its engines a dozen years ago, I would often see maps that circumscribed “local foodsheds” by county, state, or region of our sprawling nation, but they never crossed international boundaries. But when I recently moved to southern Arizona to plant an heirloom orchard just twelve miles north of […]
Word’s been out for a while that Chris Bianco’s writing a book — but Chow Bella just got the scoop on his co-author: local-food movement guru Gary Nabhan. When it comes to understanding flour, dough, yeast, tomatoes, olive oils and other artisanal ingredients, heat sources and the whole pizza shebang —Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco is […]
Welcome to the food system of the U.S.-Mexico border —the geopolitical boundary with the greatest economic disparity in the world. Stories written and spoken about this unnatural rift in the landscape are the stuff of myth, literary leaping or yarn spinning, depending on who tells the tale.
The U.S./Mexico border is also, for many, una herida abierta—an open wound. It’s a third country altogether; a ghostly apparition; America’s neglected playground; el Norte—where the grass is always greener (if it is alive at all), and so on.