Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies

Once Ioulia Fenton began studying anthropology she knew that she would continue to have to ask the question “what exactly do you do?” She explains exactly what anthropologists do using the ethnography of Seth Holmes, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, about migrant farm workers. He wanted to know what it was like being a field worker from Mexico traveling to the United States. He did this by first spending two growing seasons in the Mexican City of Oaxaca picking berries with the locals. Furthermore, he tries to undertake crossing the border illegal and tries to prove the myth that crossing the border is a choice is false by showing that it is a necessity. Holmes claims that this is because of trade agreements that have prevented these people from making a livelihood.

Furthermore, Holmes said just like many other people that attempt to cross the border, he was caught by the border patrol. Holmes states that the general public see undocumented workers as people you deserve their low social position and the suffering that their endure.

In the second chapter, Seth Holmes pivots to discussing how once of the farms, the migrant workers live in tight quarters and always try and keep a low profile in regards to the law. He further describes later in the book the hierarchy that is established on the farm: the owners, the white managers, and then the migrant workers. Holmes also describes that the lower you go in the hierarchy the more health problems you have due to a lack of resources. However, the medical professionals have a hard time treating all of the problems that arise and are stuck because of the unequal system.

Fenton describes this book as perfect for anyone that wants to know what anthropologists do or anyone who is interested in the subject.