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Organic StruggleThe Movement for Sustainable Agriculture in the United States$
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Brian K. Obach

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029094

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029094.001.0001

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Searching for Social Justice

Searching for Social Justice

(p.161) 6 Searching for Social Justice
Organic Struggle

Brian K. Obach

The MIT Press

Social justice concerns have been tied to the organic cause at least since its embrace by the 1960s counterculture, but how social justice is perceived and pursued is complicated and contradictory. One interpretation sees social justice in support for family farmers imperilled by competition from big agribusiness. In the minds of many, organic provides an avenue for these farmers to receive a fair return for their products. There is tension between this sentiment and the fact that organic goods command a price premium that places them out of reach of many low income consumers. The struggle for food justice has developed in parallel with the organic movement, yet there is little overlap between them. The matter of farm labor further complicates social justice pursuits as many organic farms employ migrant workers, underpaid interns or engage in other exploitative labor practices. The matter of social justice remains a challenge for the organic movement.

Keywords:   Social justice, Family farmers, Food justice, Food deserts, Migrant labor, United Farmworkers (UFW)

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