NAFTA Food Chain


Women Working the NAFTA Food Chain: Women, Food and Globalization

This collection of compelling and original research makes connections in Canada, the US and Mexico among women who work in fast-food restaurants, supermarkets and agricultural production. The fourteen chapters take a critical look at how the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has affected these women’s working and living conditions, sharpening our understanding of how the workplace has been restructured in order to fulfill consumer demands for tomatoes, exotic flowers and fruits, as well as fast-food burgers and fries. Food activists in Latin America, the US and Canada propose alternatives to counteract the oppressive conditions of free trade and globalization.

[Overview by Canadian Scholars Press]

Table of Contents

“Perhaps the World Ends Here” – Joy Harjo
Introduction: In the Belly of the Beast: A Moveable Feast – Deborah Barndt

Part I: The Bigger Picture: Gender and Global Restructuring
Chapter One: Remaking “Traditions”: How We Eat, What We Eat and the Changing Political Economy of Food – Harriet Friedmann
Chapter Two: Whose “Choice”? “Flexible” Women Workers in the Tomato Food Chain – Deborah Barndt
Chapter Three: Serving the McCustomer: Fast Food is Not about Food – Ester Reiter

Part II: Women Workers in the Food System: Stories from Mexico to Canada
Chapter Four: The “Poisoning” of Indigenous Migrant Women Workers and Children: From Deadly Colonialism to Toxic Globalization – Egla Martinez-Salazar
Chapter Five: Mexican Women on the Move: Migrant Workers in Mexico and Canada – Antonieta Baron
Chapter Six: “From Where Have All the Flowers Come?” Women Workers in Mexico’s Non-Traditional Markets – Kirsten Appendini
Chapter Seven: Putting the Pieces Together: Tennessee Women Find the Global Economy in Their Own Backyards – Fran Ansley
Chapter Eight: Serving Up Service: Fast-Food and Office Women Workers Doing It with a Smile – Ann Eyerman
Chapter Nine: Not Quite What They Bargained For: Female Labour in Canadian Supermarkets – Jan Kainer

Part III: Signs of Hope: Women Creating Food Alternatives
Chapter Ten: Putting Food First: Women’s Role in Creating a Grassroots System outside the Marketplace – Debbie Field
Chapter Eleven: Grassroots Responses to Globalization: Mexican Rural and Urban Women’s Collective Alternatives – Maria Dolores Villagomez
Chapter Twelve: Women as Organizers: Building Confidence and Community through Food – Deborah Moffett & Mary Lou Morgan
Chapter Thirteen: A Day in the Life of Maria: Women, Food, Ecology and the Will to Live – Ofelia Perez Pena
Chapter Fourteen: A Different Tomato: Creating Vernacular Foodscapes – Lauren Baker

Contributors’ Notes
Royalties Dedication, Photo Credits



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