Book ID: CBB001422400

Fed up: The High Costs of Cheap Food (2014)


Slongwhite, Dale Finley (Author)
Economos, Jeannie (Author)

University Press of Florida

Publication Date: 2014
Physical Details: xxiii + 192 pp.; ill.; notes; index
Language: English

One farmworker tells of the soil that would “bite” him, but that was the chemicals burning his skin. Other laborers developed blindness, lupus, asthma, diabetes, kidney failure, or suffered myriad symptoms with no clear diagnosis. Some miscarried or had children with genetic defects while others developed cancer. In Fed Up, Dale Slongwhite collects the nearly inconceivable and chilling oral histories of African American farmworkers whose lives, and those of their families, were forever altered by one of the most disturbing pesticide exposure incidents in United States' history. For decades, the farms around Lake Apopka, Florida's third largest lake, were sprayed with chemicals ranging from the now-banned DDT to toxaphene. Among the most productive farmlands in America, the fields were repeatedly covered with organochlorine pesticides, also known as persistent organic pollutants. The once-clear waters of the lake turned pea green from decades of pesticide-related run-off. Research proved that birds, alligators, and fish were all harmed. And still the farmworkers planted, harvested, packed, and shipped produce all over the country, enduring scorching sun, snakes, rats, injuries, substandard housing, and low wages. All the while, endocrine-disruptor chemicals were dropped over their heads by crop dusters as they labored in the poison-saturated fields. Eventually, state and federal dollars were allocated to buy out and close farms to attempt land restoration, water clean up, and wildlife protection. But the farmworkers became statistics--nameless casualties history almost forgot. Here are their stories, told in their own words.

Reviewed By

Review Nepa, Stephen (2015) Review of "Fed up: The High Costs of Cheap Food". Environmental History (pp. 557-559). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Patterson, Gordon M.
Doyle, Dennis
Holloway, Karla F. C.
Vail, David D.
Kinkela, David
Crenner, Christopher W.
Agricultural History
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Journal of Global History
Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains
Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal
University Press of Florida
Duke University Press
University of North Carolina Press
History Press
African Americans and science
African Americans
Public health
Food and foods
Davis, Adelle
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
18th century
21st century
17th century
Early modern
United States
West Africa
South Carolina (U.S.)
Florida (U.S.)
New York City (New York, U.S.)
Kansas (U.S.)
Norfolk & Western Railroad Company

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