Tomatoland – A Book Review

Thank goodness for Zeke at Washington’s Green Grocer and his lending library.

Thank goodness for Barry Eastabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

Do you remember when tomatoes had taste? When they weren’t hard as baseballs? Even in season?

I have been trying to buy my food as local and organic as possible. This book has solidified my commitment. Eastabrook has detailed the horrible tomato story from Florida agribusiness, to immigrant labor and pesticide poisoning;  to valiant and successful efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Migrant Farmworkers Justice Project of Florida. Despite many state and federal governments looking the other way, change is coming to tomato farming in Florida.

Did you know slave labor still exists in America? I know you know the pesticides used in Florida tomato farming kills and hurts more than the taste of the tomato? Eastabrook takes the tomato story from these low points to the success of the Fair Food Code of Conduct signed McDonald’s, Whole Foods and others. And the holy grail of Tomatoland a farmer successfully growing organic tomatoes in Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania! Look for Lady Moon Farms produce.

If you care about the food you eat and social justice – read this book and then think some more about where and how you come by your food. Honestly, I thought Cesar Chavez put us past slave labor, poor wages and taking advantage of immigrant (legal or otherwise) labor. Not so much.

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