There is so much wrong with Florida tomatoes it’s hard to believe that anyone will touch them. One farmer tells author Barry Estabrook “I get paid per pound. I don’t get paid a cent for taste.” He also says the farm workers are slaves: “Slavery is what is happening. There is no way to gloss it. You can’t say ‘slavery-like.’ You can’t say ‘near-slavery.’ ‘Human trafficking’ doesn’t even do it credit.”
He’s interviewed by CNN’s Eatocracy blog:
Eatocracy: How did you become invested in telling the story of the modern day tomato?
Estabrook: I became interested in tomatoes when I was in fact attacked by a group of tomatoes. I was driving down an interstate highway in Southwestern Florida and come up behind what I thought at first was a gravel truck. As I got closer, I saw what I took for Granny Smith apples – and I thought, “Those don’t grow in Florida.” When I got really close, I saw it was full of bright green tomatoes. No pink – just green.
I was mesmerized, and then the truck hit a bump. Three tomatoes came flying off and nearly went through my windshield. I noticed that they hit the pavement on I-75, bounced and then rolled into the ditch.
They didn’t shatter, they didn’t splatter; they stayed intact. I thought, “My God! What have they done to this wonderful fruit?”…
[continues at Eatocracy]