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In: Social Issues

Submitted By skipper
Words 571
Pages 3
Sean Murray
Global Food Systems
Tomatoland Response

When I think of the about my vegetables, I rarely consider the complications, the production, or even the industry that brings my meal from the ground to my dinner plate. More seldomly are the chemicals used to grow the plant, as well as the people who provide the service considered when buying from the grocery store. Consumers do not really consider where their food comes from, how it is produced, and who produces it. Barry Estabrook, the author of Tomatoland : How Modern Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Modern Fruit, discusses in his book how the industrialized tomato bares no resemblance to that of one purchase from a local market nor one found in a personal garden. The truth is, not only are industrial produced tomatoes created with wide assortments of dangerous chemicals that are bad for you, risk for those picking the vegitized fruit is astronomically higher compared to consumers. Within the United States, the agricultural workforce for industrial tomato production have been subjected to, what is often considered, modern day slave labor. Florida is the largest producer of tomatoes to the rest of the United States. “Commercial seed companies have bred traits into domestic varieties to combat about have of the pest and diseases” (Estabrook, 15). Ironic that these companies would invest so much money in the fertilization and production of tomatoes despite geographic uselessness of Florida’s soil. Florida is not environmentally suited in the growth of tomato when compared their agricultural counterparts in Mexico. To supliment Florida’s demographic uselessness, land farm workers take artificial measures, injecting chemical fertilizer into the soil. Once grown, these plants are subjected to blasting with a plethora pesticides. As a result, migrant workers who labor in fields risk constant exposure to deadly chemicals and pesticides. The both long lasting affects are nothing less than horrific. Birth defects, cancer, and other life threatening ailments are the result this abuse in health and safety regulation. Worst of all, the migrant workers have no say in the matter. As migrant workers, many of them either do not have the resources, nor the capabilities of contacting the proper authorities. These people are subjected to living in uninhabitable living quarters, being compensated below standard wages, and, at times being forced to remain, sometimes against their will. These conditions on other human are commonly considered nonexistent in modern American Society. What these migrant worker have done, however, is band together in an act of solidarity against their employer’s clear misuse of authority of their employer. They work in conditions that no human should experience, but out of fear, these workers refuse the assistance of government assistance. Therefore, the most logical course of action would be to have some form of third party representation to combat the argricultural injustice on migrant workers, which is what ended up happening. This representation put the image of abuse of labor workers to companies Like McDonalds, Tacobell, and other corperate chains, forcing an immediate change in working conditions. The novel, Tomatoland, touches on one of the many forms of abuse in agricultural developmental system. People who come into this country to have a better life have been victimized, abused, and taken advantage of when they could just as easily be equally treated productive contributing additions the United States.

1. Estabrook, Barry. Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2011. Print.

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