Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Tomatoland by Barry Estebrook

Check-out Mark Bittman's comments on Tomatoland the New York Times website.

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring FruitI feel a personal connection to Tomatoland since tomatoes are always a source of drama in my home. My husband has a fear of tomatoes that has only grown more severe over time. I've never cared much for them, but I grew up in California, so "fresh" sliced tomatoes came on everything: burgers, tacos, milkshakes. . . Okay, maybe not the milkshakes, but just about everything else. I've become accustomed to just picking them off and going along on my merry way, but after reading this book, I now know that in addition to the obvious taste and health issues associated with tomatoes, we need to also consider the social justice issues. Apparently, picking tomatoes isn't a very nice job, so anyone out there with aspirations of tomato picking, stop and think again. Bad idea. Seriously though, the conditions the workers have to deal with are atrocious and the pay is a joke.

I can't say that anything Barry Estabrook shared came as a shock to me given the way migrant workers have been treated in this country over the years. Actually, given the way any workers have been treated until a major labor movement came along to force management to treat them like human beings instead of cockroaches.

Always make sure you only eat tomatoes that meet your culinary and ethical standards.