PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions ran a nice article about our field trip to Woodburn to visit with PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste), the primary union supporting farmworkers in the Willamette Valley and beyond. The trip brought together students from my Feeding the City class and our Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems. We followed our visit to PCUN with a tour and lunch at the Portland Mercado in East PDX.
Here's the article:
Food Systems field trip features local Latinx movements in agriculture and community-led retail businessJuly 6, 2017 - 3:05pm — Lauren Everett
In June, students in the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems joined Nathan McClintock’s Feeding The City class on a field trip to learn about the labor side of food justice.
Founded in 1985 and located in the small agricultural town of Woodburn, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) is Oregon’s farm workers union, and represents over 6,000 members ...
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Congrats to my PhD student Amy Coplen on a fantastic panel she organized here at PSU a few weeks ago. "Working for Food Justice: What does farm-to-table really mean?" brought together over 60 food workers, labor organizers, and members of the PSU community to discuss how we can advocate for food workers. Panelists included representatives of Piñeros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), Adelante Mujeres, the IWW, and UNITE HERE.
"Many of those who work to put food on our plates cannot afford to feed themselves. Food labor— including cultivating, harvesting, sorting, packaging, processing, transporting, marketing, retailing, preparing, and serving food—constitutes over half of all human labor. Yet, this work remains largely invisible to consumers. The city of Portland is rapidly gaining status as the foodie capital of the world. Local restaurants are praised for their dedication to local and organic sourcing, but little attention is paid to the work that goes into preparing these meals. In “farm-to-table” restaurants, food somehow magically and gracefully makes its way from the field to your plate. The term “farm-to-table” itself erases from the diners consciousness, all of the hands and bodies and minds that work so hard to feed us. More broadly, the alternative food movement is so focused on environmental sustainability and the health of those consuming food that the wellbeing of those who work in the food system is largely ignored."
Congratulations to Amy on this fantastic effort. Read more about the event and panel participants here.
Nathan McClintock is a geographer and professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University.