Greenblading: Tomatoes and Slavery
June 15, 2011
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There are so many things to think about when we go to the grocery store – the shopping list, the balanced diet, the budget, the planet – but it is good to get a reminder that we need to remember the workers along the way who bring us the things on sale in the produce bins. Check out Mark Bittman’s column in the New York Times, The True Cost of Tomatoes before you buy a Florida tomato. The workers are primarily Mexican, Haitian, and Maya Indians and often the conditions they work in meet the legal definition of slavery.
The Coalition of Imokalee Workers has made great strides in ending this exploitation (many of the major fast food chains have signed agreements with them) but while there have been significant successes they are still campaigning with grocery store chains. You can help just by asking your produce manager if store knows where its tomatoes are coming from.