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Destroying The Barrier Between Consumption And Production

2216 words - 9 pages

A horse with blinders on—that is how I felt just a few weeks prior. As the semester comes to an end, we have spent the past few weeks diving deeper into the means of production and consumption through a series of videos, accompanied by a book called Tangled Routes. Each of these differ from one another in the aspect of what they focus on, but they all have the something significantly in common—the idea of commodity fetish. The commodity fetish is a term deprived from Marx, and it simply means that there is an absence of relationship between the people who produce products, and those who buy it. The market place often times build a barrier between production and consumption, so the truth ...view middle of the document...

However, the tomato that has come to be now is far different than the tomato that the Mayas and Aztecs were familiar with. The tomato we now know is processed beyond belief in order to be categorized as the ‘perfect tomato’—ready to be sold and consumed by us, the people. This idea is important because the steps involved to create the ‘perfect tomato’ are long and tedious, and ultimately costs people’s whole lives to be surrounded by the tomato, almost to the point to where they seem dehumanized.
Bardnt, in an attempt to destroy the barrier between consumption and production, gives in sight on the lives of women workers in different workplaces, in which each of their whole lives are surrounded by the tomato. One woman, Juana has spent her entire lives working in the packing plant. She spends a lot of her time moving from place to place, following the tomato to different harvests in order to pack them. She seems to be more privileged than other workers, as she has to move from place to place and work for long hours, but despite this being said, the privileges Juana receives are not all that pleasant. She is only paid thirty three cents per box, and a packer usually averages two hundred to five hundred boxes of tomatoes per day. This is equivalent to around thirteen to thirty dollars a day. Another woman, Yolanda, is a sorter. She is not as privileged as her fellow worker, Juana. Her wage is far less, as she is paid by the hour, and her wage averages out to approximately seven to twelve dollars a day. She has to stand for long hours at a time, unlike Juana, who gets to sit during her shifts. Two other woman workers, Soledad and Yvonne, work as greenhouse planters. Soledad, a young girl at only fifteen years old, works in the greenhouse in order to contribute to the family wage. However, she only makes approximately twenty six dollars a week, and only four to five dollars a day. The type of work she engages in is the caring of the tomato seedlings, trimming the plants, and binding them up on strings, while moving along on tall rolling carts. She can generally average thirteen rows a day. This job is fast paced and dangerous—her sister was injured by falling off one. Along with Soledad, Yvonne is another greenhouse packer, though her job is slightly different. She undertakes the job of working in the packing house. She has seen numerous amounts of jobs in her three short years, and has also experience the shift into high-tech packing, which has made her job a lot easier. She is now able to use a computerized system to weigh tomatoes and measure the color, but the actual physical site of the greenhouse shows the forcefulness of worker control. She works inside a small, controlled, glassed-in control booth, working at fast speeds to fill cardboard boxes with tomatoes. There is a lot of competition between the girls working, and Yvonne has become so submitted to this competitiveness that it has consumed her life to the point...

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