Barry Estabrook uncovers some rotten tomatoes in Tomatoland
James Beard Award-winning activist food writer and author, Barry Estabrook, who writes for the New York Times and Washington Post among other publications, made an appearance at the 2012 Miami Book Fair International to expose the rotten tomatoes of tomato growing and harvesting processes in Florida detailed in his widely acclaimed book, Tomatoland (Andrews McMeel Publishing; April, 2012). Estabrook took his audience on a slideshow tour of the history of labor abuse, describing substandard living and pay conditions rendering workers as 'virtual slaves,' afflicted by unprotected exposure to over 130 pesticides and poisons leading to birth defects on Florida tomato farms. Estabrook wrapped his presentation with the story of workers efforts to gain fair pay and working condition agreements through the major end buyers of Florida tomatoes, beginning with Taco Bell, McDonald's, and Buger King, forcing the farmers to improve wages and working conditions, and moving along the food supply chain to supermarkets.
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