Farmworkers and Their Food Habits

By: Mino Reyes  

Farmworkers are at the center of the United States’ food supply, responsible for planting, picking, and packing the fruit and vegetable crops which form the foundation of a healthy diet. Despite earning their livelihood from working with produce and despite hailing from regions that traditionally have low rates of diabetes and obesity, farmworker families working in the United States experience both a high incidence of food insecurity and skyrocketing rates of obesity and related diseases. After outlining farmworkers’ social determinants of health, this paper will describe the results of two focus groups centered around nutritional habits conducted by Farmworker Justice, a DC-based farmworker advocacy nonprofit organization. This includes findings about cooking habits, food access, and knowledge about diabetes within two farmworker communities. This paper will build on those findings by exploring advocates’ opportunities for future community interventions in both formal and informal settings, and proposing models of nutrition-related educational materials that are culturally competent and calibrated for the unique structural constraints this vulnerable population faces.

Farmworker, Nutrition, Diabetes, Food System, Food Justice, Food Security
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Mino Reyes

Fellow, Farmworker Justice, United States
United States