Food and Punishment
Colorado’s inmates-as-farmworkers plan says plenty about our food culture
Last summer, Colorado cracked down on illegal immigrants and the businesses that hire them, causing lots of folks to flee the state. But now that spring is rolling around, farmers are finding themselves out of luck when it comes to labor. Who will replace the poorly compensated immigrants who tended their fields? Well, poorly compensated prisoners, if Colorado has its way. The whole situation is a mess, and as farmer-writer Tom Philpott explains, it speaks volumes about the childish way Americans relate to their food.