You Say Tomato...

yellow tomatoI'm stealing this post from Shelley Lance over at Tom Douglas Restuarants because she is one of the most well-written voices in Seattle. An article by Barry Estabrook, about the way many of the field hands who pick tomatoes in South Florida are treated, published in the March issue of Gourmet magazine, is a real eye-opener.  The subtitle, ” if you have eaten a tomato this winter, it might well have been picked by a person who lives in virtual slavery,” will make you think twice if you’re tempted by those firm and tasteless globes sold in the supermarkets this time of year.  Even more horrifying is the thought that this virtual slave is laboring in the United States of America. Ninety percent of the fresh, domestic tomatoes we eat come from South Florida, and the largest community of farmworkers live in Immokalee, which, according to Douglas Molloy, the chief assistant US attorney based in Fort Myers, has become ground zero for modern slavery. In Immokalee, frightened, often undocumented field hands from Mexico and South America are grimly exploited by “independent contractors called crew bosses.”  Continue reading here......