Corn and our Beef with Immigration.

I recently watched the film, Food, Inc., as self-encouragement to complete a 25-day food and fitness challenge.  I knew the film would expose me to how bad processed food is for my body, but I didn’t expect to be exposed to root causes of illegal immigration.

On December 8, 1993, Mexico, Canada and the U.S., signed the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate barriers to investment and trade (wiki) between the three countries, and in theory it would help bring economic growth to all three countries.  There have been dozens of reports on the effectiveness of NAFTA and the agreement has been faced with many controversies. 

One very well documented truth is the increased demand of meat from Mexico (as of 2000, Mexico is the #2 importer of U.S. meat, wiki), which has in turn increased production in the U.S., which has led to U.S. corporations’ need  for more laborers.  In theory, the U.S. corporations would hire U.S. laborers, but instead the corporations go to Mexico and recruit, yes they go into Mexico to recruit, peanut-cheap labor.  Many of the undocumented workers who come work in meat processing plants are former Mexican corn farmers. 

In 2010, the U.S. government’s subsidies of corn totaled north of $10.1 billion and chargers of dumping (into Mexico) have ensued.  So when Mexican farmers are out of work, potentially due to extra-cheap corn that puts them out of business, and big U.S. corporations come to their home and offer them work and (illegal) entrance into the U.S., their choices are few.

The worst tragedy is that when immigration raids happen, it is the workers that get criminalized not the U.S. corporations that hired them in the first place.  Undocumented immigrants are hated and abused while we enjoy our cheap meat and corn.  Personally, I am also guilty of benefiting from owning Monsato’s stock (and other food companies), that’s going to change ASAP.

"Food Inc," has me furious.  Our tax dollars get used for the corn subsidies.  We get heart attacks, diabetes and fat from the terrible food we consume.  My people get criminalized, hated on, and once they’ve built a home in America they get deported and separated from their families. 

I wish we could all go on a 25-day Food and Hate Challenge— and lose the fat and lose the hate, increase our muscle mass and our knowledge.