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Tune in to a special episode of The Farm Report as Erin Fairbanks talks labor and workers rights with author and activist Margaret Gray. Margaret is the winner of the 2014 Association for the Study of Food and Agriculture Book of the Year Award as well as the author of Labor and the Locavore, which focuses on one of the most vibrant local food economies in the country, the Hudson Valley that supplies New York restaurants and farmers markets. Based on more than a decade’s in-depth interviews with workers, farmers, and others, Gray’s examination clearly shows how the currency of agrarian values serves to mask the labor concerns of an already hidden workforce. Margaret also explores the historical roots of farmworkers’ predicaments and examines the ethnic shift from Black to Latino workers. With an analysis that can be applied to local food concerns around the country, this book challenges the reader to consider how the mentality of the alternative food movements implies a comprehensive food ethic that addresses workers’ concerns. Tune in for an incredibly insightful conversation on the state of workers rights in the farming community. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.

"I never would have anticipated that my book would become a food studies book. It was a little more academically oriented around social movement issues but then I saw an amazing opportunity to have a conversation with people interested in food." [3:20]

"The farmers I talk to are very explicit [in saying] 'We don't want American workers and we don't want our Latino workers to be Americanized.' Some of the structural issues are around the way laws are designed and the power dynamics around the farms. " [21:00]

"The intimacy that we have from buying from small local farmers translates in a way into the relationships those farmers have with their workers." [22:00]

--Margaret Gray on The Farm Report


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Linda Pelaccio begins today's episode of A Taste of the Past by taking a moment to spread the word about Family-to-Family, a relief organization that allows a group of people to sponsor a family who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thanksgiving has always been accompanied by charitable spirit; check out Family-to-Family, and get involved with the hurricane relief efforts. Today, Linda is speaking with food historian Sandy Oliver about the roots of Thanksgiving! Sandy is also the author of the book Saltwater Foodways, a history of Yankee cooking and New England eating traditions, and the recent Maine Home Cooking. Tune into this episode to learn about the religious considerations of Thanksgiving, and how it came to be a national holiday. What foods were most likely on the table during the first harvest feast? Sandy and Linda share some dishes that you may not recognize! Hear about the history of Thanksgiving commercialism! This program has been sponsored by Rolling Press.

"Most of us don't recognize mincemeat for the preserve that it is. It is a way of preserving meat along with apples and other kinds of fruits. It also was convenience food." [14:05]

-- Sandy Oliver on A Taste of the Past


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Did you know that gangsters controlled nearly all of the food distribution in Depression-era New York City? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio invites Andy Coe to talk about racketeering in New York City food history. Learn how something as innocent as an egg cream was the cause of major crime. Find out what products were controlled by specific gangsters, and how the food rackets weren't eliminated from the Big Apple until the days of Giuliani! Learn about Murder Inc., and how competition was dealt with in the 1940s. Calling all fans of The Godfather: you don't want to miss this installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by The Heritage Meat Shop. Music has been provided by SNOWMINE.

"Today we have supermarkets and bodegas, and the food appears on the shelves and we don't really know where it comes from... Back then, food distribution was much more spread out." [7:45]

-- Andy Coe on A Taste of the Past


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