It was tough getting into Barry Estabrook first few chapters of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, a book I bought to read while on vacation in Florida last August. I am glad I didn’t read it there, because our vacation would have turned into a research project. The more I read about the working conditions and the unfair practices of the farm bosses, the more upset I get. I am glad I have chosen to eat with the seasons where I live, it sits well with me. I don’t think I will buy another store bought tomato ever.
Politics aside — I feel all workers should be treated fairly and humanely.
It’s such a multifaceted issue and you can’t talk about illegal farm workers and not talk politics. People complain about the price of EVERYTHING and if the workers were able to make a living wage, the price of tomatoes would sky rocket. I have so many feeling about it, I am certain that anything I would say could potentially get me into an argument. I can say one thing, the tomatoes at the grocery store taste like $#!t. If given a choice between buying tomatoes that were picked by workers who are essentially indentured servants (slaves) or not having tomatoes in the winter, I will pass on the BLT.
This is a video posted to introduce you to a problem I didn’t even know existed.
The Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) is a network of human rights, religious, student, labor, sustainable food and agriculture, environmental and grassroots organizations who work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), an internationally-recognized human rights organization working to eliminate modern-day slavery and sweatshop labor conditions from Florida agriculture.