Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – This is a very intriguing story that you just sent me, Mr. Gruss. Strawberry farmers can’t find people in California to pick the strawberries. Congratulations, you grandparents out there. We’ve raised an entire generation of people and of youths, Americans, that will not do the jobs that their American forefathers did. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: This is a very intriguing story that you just sent me, Mr. Gruss. Strawberry farmers can’t find people in California to pick the strawberries. Andrew, do you remember the story we did way back in the day, I guess a year or so ago, the story of Washington State and the asparagus farmers?
AG: Yep, absolutely.
Mike: The guy that runs it: Well, people are loving asparagus and a lot of it comes from Washington State. This is great news if you’re an asparagus grower, fantastic news. There’s only one problem: they can’t find people to pick the asparagus, Americans. Americans want to eat the asparagus but they don’t want to pick it. The asparagus farmer went to the local unemployment office and said: We’ve got a 15 percent unemployment rate in this county and I’ve got jobs I cannot fill. They posted it at the unemployment office and nobody bit. People would rather remain unemployed and on state subsistence, in other words parasites, than to go out and pick asparagus. Apparently it’s not just asparagus that Americans won’t pick anymore. You know that old thing about no one was ever harmed by a hard day’s work? Well, that was before we became “we.” The guy that’s featured in this story says, and I’m reading from the story:
Teixeira, an affable guy with a sharp sense of humor, has argued publicly that Americans are unwilling to do the hard work that’s necessary to gather crops. Like other growers, many of them conservative Republicans, he argues for immigration reform that provides for a steady stream of immigrants to do the work others won’t.
“Americans don’t want to do the fieldwork. They’ll go over and make hamburgers for $8 an hour with no insurance, no nothing, when they can make more money here,” Teixeira said. “I don’t care if you pay $20 an hour, they’ll come here one or two days, and they’re gone. It’s a mind-set: They think fieldwork is below them.”
Mike: Congratulations, you grandparents out there. We’ve raised an entire generation of people and of youths, Americans, that will not do the jobs that their American forefathers did. This is what makes necessary — can you imagine this. Picking fruits, this is survival stuff. You have to have fruits and vegetables to survive. I was thinking about this. I wonder how many vegan and vegetarian nut jobs have — I shouldn’t call — that’s painting with a broad brush. My apologies. Some of you are vegetarians for health reasons, I’ll grant you that. The vegans usually have a political motivation. Vegetarians mostly, it’s my experience, are health reasons. I’ll grant you that. How many vegetarians are willing to go out and work, if they had to, to pick their own strawberries or asparagus? If you can answer that question: Why would I do that? I’ve got a great job at Google. Okay. What if there’s no one left to pick the asparagus or the strawberries? What happens then? We’ll buy imported strawberries and imported asparagus. You know a lot of our produce is imported from Mexico for this very reason. Remember that phrase. These people are here to do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do. I think that’s largely correct and very tragic and sad at the same time. If you read the story:
Antonio Lopez, 34, one of the foremen for Mar Vista Berry, gently urged the workers to leave no good fruit behind.
You might think strawberries are carefully sorted – possibly by a machine – into the clamshells you buy at the supermarket after being washed at some facility. They’re not. The strawberries are picked by fieldworkers and placed directly into those containers.
Mike: I can tell you, we have an awful lot of strawberries here in southeast Louisiana. We have a big festival every April, the Strawberry Festival. You’ll find local farmers out there on the side of the road selling flats of strawberries for a lot less than you’ll pay for them at the grocery market. It appears that they’re picking their own, I don’t know, but it is a huge problem.
End Mike Church Show Transcript