LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eva Longoria says she lent her support to "The Harvest," a documentary about child migrant laborers, not just because of her Latin American roots but also because she wants to know where her food comes from and take responsibility for it.
In the United States, harvesting work tends to be done by migrants of Latin American origin, but Longoria's interest in the subject didn't spring from that, but from the children who are growing up in the fields, the "Desperate Housewives" star says.
"I'm ninth-generation Mexican-American. We have ranches in Texas but you don't have to have that to have compassion," Longoria said. "I eat food and I'm a responsible human being and if you are responsible, you have to know where your food comes from."
Twenty-five percent of the food we eat in the United States is harvested by children, Longoria said in a phone interview from the set of "Desperate Housewives," now shooting its final season. Every year, more than 400,000 children work in U.S. fields, according to the documentary.
"You have to be aware of the practices that are used to get the food we are eating," said the actress, who as executive producer of "The Harvest," raised nearly $1 million for the film, which will be released on DVD Tuesday.
"I've been involved with farm workers advocacy for a long time," she said, "but I recently found out, I didn't know there were so many children working legally in the fields."
"The Harvest" tells the story of three children who work as field laborers in Florida, Michigan and Texas to help their parents.
In the film, one of them, 12-year-old Zulema Lopez, notes that she started working at such a young age, she doesn't even remember her first day. She adds that picking onions in Texas from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., she made $64 a week.