How did Europe avoid the Covid-19 catastrophe ravaging U.S. meatpacking plants?

BERGERAC, France — In late April, around the time that President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring U.S. meatpacking plants to be “critical infrastructure” in an effort to keep them open after they emerged as coronavirus hotspots, Germany’s slaughterhouses reported their first cases of the virus. In the ensuing weeks, as the number of… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

‘The workers are being sacrificed’: As cases mounted, meatpacker JBS kept people on crowded factory floors

On her phone, Crystal Rodriguez keeps a photo of her father hooked up to a ventilator. Nurses at the hospital sent her the image after he’d spent close to a month in the intensive care unit at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado, battling severe complications from Covid-19. At 58, he was unable… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

When meat plants shutter, what happens to market-ready animals?

Three weeks ago, Chris Petersen, a small-scale pig farmer in Clear Lake, Iowa, brought nine of his Berkshire hogs to slaughter at a nearby meat locker, which typically processes fewer than 10 pigs a day. Last week, he called to schedule another appointment, hoping for mid-June. But with demand for direct-marketed meat growing, thanks to… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

As pandemic spreads and growing season ramps up, farmworkers deemed ‘essential’ but still largely unprotected

In Immokalee, an agricultural hub in southwest Florida known as America’s “tomato capital,” thousands of farmworkers are busy during the peak of harvest season; many of the fresh tomatoes now in grocery stores—or being delivered to doorsteps— have passed through their hands. But despite a growing outcry from workers and their advocates, little is being… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

The coronavirus has laid bare restaurant workers’ ‘tip to mouth’ existence

Cristan learned last month that the bustling Oakland restaurant where he made craft cocktails for 12 years was ceasing “non-essential” functions and shifting to takeout and delivery to help contain the coronavirus. The San Francisco Bay Area’s entertainment and cultural engines were grinding to a halt, prompting mass layoffs.  “It was Friday the thirteenth,” says… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

Today’s special: Grilled salmon laced with plastic

Nearly 50 years ago, scientists studying the North Atlantic Ocean started noticing that tiny fragments of plastic were turning up in their plankton and seaweed samples. The microparticles, they found, absorbed toxic chemicals and were then eaten by flounder, perch, and other fish. Until recently, though, researchers thought these ingested plastics stayed in a creature’s guts and… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

One man is trying to save the world from climate change by mobilizing an unlikely team: Iowa’s farmers

In early March, just a week before the Midwest was inundated by catastrophic flooding, a dozen farmers gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell, Iowa, for an event billed as a conversation about “Faith, Farmers, and Climate Action.” “How is God calling you to use your farm to improve the world?” asked the evening’s… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million readers
    Mother Jones

The air they breathe

Rosemary Partridge has lived in Sac County, Iowa, for 40 years. She has watched the state’s agricultural landscape change, with large-scale hog farms taking over nearly all the land surrounding her home. The stink of the neighboring farms is “unbearable,” making her nauseous whenever she is outside. She and her husband, once cattle and crop… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million monthly readers
    Mother Jones

These races will make or break the Blue Wave in farm country

President Donald Trump, who has recently been tossing out hats emblazoned with Make our Farmers Great Again! in John Deere green and yellow, brought his roadshow to Fargo, North Dakota, twice this summer. Both occasions were to stump for Kevin Cramer, who is running for Senate against Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp in one of the… » Read More

Media Partner
This Story’s Impact
  • 8 million monthly readers
    Mother Jones