Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook

Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook

If one food is ubiquitous to the local food movement, it is the tomato. As we are in the harvest season, many of you are probably canning some this weekend! We’ve all come to realize that the fruit is incredibly delicious when picked ripe off the vine, but we’ve also learned that it doesn’t travel well. We know that most supermarket tomatoes won’t be any good and that purchasing them outside of the summer months is a joke (hydroponics being a possible exception).

In Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook shows readers that there is a lot more to discuss when it comes to the tomato. For example, most tomatoes available in America, especially in winter, were grown in Florida using obscene amounts of pesticides and fertilizers and picked by laborers under slave conditions. In fact, lawsuits are currently in play utilizing 150 year old laws banning slavery. Yes, tomato growing corporations in Florida are being sued for slavery right now.

Readers interested in the tomato specifically, or more generally in the industrial food system, how it evolved and how to improve it, will find Tomatoland a good read.

Find it on Amazon or at your local library!


10 2011

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  1. 1

    Hey you can go through the list of my blogs , it will provide you all the information on Hydroponics.

  2. sylvia mcadam #

    Years ago, when I was a teenager, I quit eating tomatoes unless they came out of my mother’s garden or later on, from my own. In fact, I specifically started gardening just to grow tomatoes.
    Even today, when we are eating out, I ask them to hold the tomatoes. People always ask “don’t you like tomatoes?” Well, of course I do! Just not the ones that would be on the salad.
    I read this book. I began as a tomato snob. Midway through the chapter about Carlitos, I read sobbing. By the end of the book, my 48 year old self was outraged in a way that I haven’t been in years. I am no longer a tomato snob, only eating my own, I am beyond my ability to justify how this can happen in America, where I live, in Florida, where my family goes to play.

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