It Takes 110 Chemicals To Grow A Tomato In Florida

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]

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  • Tio Holtzman

    Remember when *all* foods were organic?

    • De Carabas

       No, and neither do you, your parents, your grandparents, or anyone else for a couple of hundred years now.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        one of those depressing truths

      • Anarchy Pony

        No actually it has only been for about 70 or 80 years. Only since the “green” revolution. Don’t be ignorant of history.

      • Jin The Ninja

        petro chems were only invented in the last century genius.

        • De Carabas

           This is true. However, nitrates and phosphates have been distilled out of of other materials and used as fertilizers for much longer than that. Organic doesn’t mean “no petro chems.” Also, try to keep it civil.

          • Jin The Ninja

            ‘genius’ is not civil? last time i heard sarcasm hadn’t entered into illegality or impolite discourse. don’t troll if you expect a warm welcome.

            Organic DOES in fact mean NO petro-chemicals. LOL. nitrates and phosphates from organic sources are often used on bio-organic farms.

            Are you just slow or are you paid to shill nonsense?

    • JoiquimCouteau

      Lead Arsenate’s been used for over 100 years

    • Toxiczen

      no sir I do not! :(

    • Guest

      Yes; I remember when organic meant of a living
      organism and not the blanket term it has become which refers to “organically
      grown”… which is yet another lazy way to refer to a process, a way of farming,
      that some appreciate. 

      • Jin The Ninja

        ridiculous and odd statement.

  • Tio Holtzman

    Remember when *all* foods were organic?

  • De Carabas

     No, and neither do you, your parents, your grandparents, or anyone else for a couple of hundred years now.

  • Okarin

    there was a b-movie about this too, attack of the killer tomatoes

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      and a bitchin saturday morning cartoon. At least the theme song was catchy (and oh so creative)

  • Okarin

    there was a b-movie about this too, attack of the killer tomatoes

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    and a bitchin saturday morning cartoon. At least the theme song was catchy (and oh so creative)

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    one of those depressing truths

  • ishmael2009

    So don’t buy ‘em if you don’t approve of this. It’s not that hard to find a farmer’s market or to buy organic, or sign up for a local box scheme. No one is forcing anyone to buy these tomatoes. 

    • Deslockdarkstar

      No one said anyone was being “forced”… but without articles such as this, how is one to know? Your comment seems to convey a disapproval of the coverage…..

      • ishmael2009

        No, i think this coverage is very important and personally i buy organic whenever possible, even if it means i can’t afford to always buy the food i would want because of the cost. I was simply pointing out that this kind of chemical madness goes on because people obviously aren’t that concerned about it. If they were, then they wouldn’t buy it. Personal choice.

        • Jin The Ninja

          “personal choice”

          a right wing talking point. interesting ‘choice’ of words.

    • bobbiethejean

      Congratulations on missing the point.

      • ishmael2009

        Thanks, Bobbie. You’re obviously one of those clever, white, middle-class people who thankfully know what’s good for the rest of us, and are going to tell us what we should eat and how we should live our lives. Yay for people like you. Congratulations on not being even slightly condescending.

        • Jin The Ninja

          dude YOUR comment reads the way it reads- so either own it or edit it.

    • moremisinformation

      Actually, one could argue that some, even many are indeed “forced” to by this sort of food – or even worse food. This is done through the implementation of certain policies and paradigms which lead to the current socio-economic situation in the U.S. Believe it or not, many of your fellow Americans actually can’t afford organic food whether it be from a farmer’s market or a CSA. To say different is to look at things with an extremely myopic view.

      • Deslockdarkstar

        Good point, especially with regards to policies. However, the options do exist or can be created through agorist solutions… in other words, without letting stupid laws stand in our way.

        • Guest

          I just read what agorism is, I’d never heard of it. The problem with agorism, in my opinion, is mostly the same as the problem of purchasing power. Those that cannot afford organic food, for the most part, also have nothing to exchange in a barter system. They don’t have skills and they don’t have goods. Of course, exceptions will prove this rule but that, generally is the way of things. People are so pushed to survival (and not man vs. beast survival) at this point that any sort of “alternative” lifestyle must be considered, out of reach. (I can’t seem to be able to sign in and am to weary to give an effort at this time, sorry.)

  • Anonymous

    So don’t buy ‘em if you don’t approve of this. It’s not that hard to find a farmer’s market or to buy organic, or sign up for a local box scheme. No one is forcing anyone to buy these tomatoes. 

  • Deslockdarkstar

    No one said anyone was being “forced”… but without articles such as this, how is one to know? Your comment seems to convey a disapproval of the coverage…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobbie-Jean-Pentecost/100000391760333 Bobbie Jean Pentecost

    Congratulations on missing the point.

  • Wanooski

    No actually it has only been for about 70 or 80 years. Only since the “green” revolution. Don’t be ignorant of history.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, one could argue that some, even many are indeed “forced” to by this sort of food – or even worse food. This is done through the implementation of certain policies and paradigms which lead to the current socio-economic situation in the U.S. Believe it or not, many of your fellow Americans actually can’t afford organic food whether it be from a farmer’s market or a CSA. To say different is to look at things with an extremely myopic view.

  • Anonymous

    petro chems were only invented in the last century genius.

  • Redacted

    The people are not yet traumatized enough for a Revolution.

    I am fully aware of the irony.

  • Anonymous

    The people are not yet traumatized enough for a Revolution.

    I am fully aware of the irony.

  • Deslockdarkstar

    Good point, especially with regards to policies. However, the options do exist or can be created through agorist solutions… in other words, without letting stupid laws stand in our way.

  • De Carabas

     This is true. However, nitrates and phosphates have been distilled out of of other materials and used as fertilizers for much longer than that. Organic doesn’t mean “no petro chems.” Also, try to keep it civil.

  • Anonymous

    Lead Arsenate’s been used for over 100 years

  • Sameer Garg

     Very nice post. you have written the article with depth knoweldge
    Thank you so much for sharing it. that’s amazing!
    http://healthism.blogspot.com is a unique health and fitness website

  • Anonymous

    ‘genius’ is not civil? last time i heard sarcasm hadn’t entered into illegality or impolite discourse. don’t troll if you expect a warm welcome.

    Organic DOES in fact mean NO petro-chemicals. LOL. nitrates and phosphates from organic sources are often used on bio-organic farms.

    Are you just slow or are you paid to shill nonsense?

  • Anonymous

    No, i think this coverage is very important and personally i buy organic whenever possible, even if it means i can’t afford to always buy the food i would want because of the cost. I was simply pointing out that this kind of chemical madness goes on because people obviously aren’t that concerned about it. If they were, then they wouldn’t buy it. Personal choice.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Bobbie. You’re obviously one of those clever, white, middle-class people who thankfully know what’s good for the rest of us, and are going to tell us what we should eat and how we should live our lives. Yay for people like you. Congratulations on not being even slightly condescending.

  • Anonymous

    dude YOUR comment reads the way it reads- so either own it or edit it.

  • Anonymous

    dude YOUR comment reads the way it reads- so either own it or edit it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kompressah Travis Henson

    Thats bullshit srsly

  • http://www.facebook.com/kompressah Travis Henson

    Thats bullshit srsly

  • Anonymous

    “personal choice”

    a right wing talking point. interesting ‘choice’ of words.

  • Guest

    I just read what agorism is, I’d never heard of it. The problem with agorism, in my opinion, is mostly the same as the problem of purchasing power. Those that cannot afford organic food, for the most part, also have nothing to exchange in a barter system. They don’t have skills and they don’t have goods. Of course, exceptions will prove this rule but that, generally is the way of things. People are so pushed to survival (and not man vs. beast survival) at this point that any sort of “alternative” lifestyle must be considered, out of reach. (I can’t seem to be able to sign in and am to weary to give an effort at this time, sorry.)

  • Toxiczen

    no sir I do not! :(

  • FeedinganEducatedWorld

    Organic is great…until you realize that in order for the whole world to eat food produced with no chemicals on small farms that everyone, even the people who think meat comes from the grocery store, not from an animal, must farm and grow their own food. Bottom line, if you want to eat, either start teaching the ignorant fools who don’t want to know where their food comes from how to be self-sufficient, or keep your mouth shut.

  • FeedinganEducatedWorld

    Organic is great…until you realize that in order for the whole world to eat food produced with no chemicals on small farms that everyone, even the people who think meat comes from the grocery store, not from an animal, must farm and grow their own food. Bottom line, if you want to eat, either start teaching the ignorant fools who don’t want to know where their food comes from how to be self-sufficient, or keep your mouth shut.

  • Guest

    Yes; I remember when organic meant of a living
    organism and not the blanket term it has become which refers to “organically
    grown”… which is yet another lazy way to refer to a process, a way of farming,
    that some appreciate. 

  • Anonymous

    ridiculous and odd statement.

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