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Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

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Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit Cover

ISBN13: 9781449423452
ISBN10: 1449423450
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

First paperback edition of the New York Times best-seller. Based on a James Beard award-winning article from a leading voice on the politics of agribusiness, Tomatoland combines history, legend, passion for taste, and investigative reporting on modern agribusiness and environmental issues into a revealing, controversial look at the tomato, the fruit we love so much that we eat $4 billion-worth annually.

2012 IACP Award Winner in the Food Matters category

Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than one hundred different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have fourteen times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?

Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Florida, a.k.a. the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.

Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color, and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.

Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an expose of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.

Review:

"Tomatoland is more than the sad tale of one fruit's decline from juicy summer treat to bland obligation. It is an indictment of our modern agricultural system...in the tradition of the best muckraking journalism, from Upton Sinclair's The Jungle to Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation." The Washington Post

Review:

"In this eye-opening exposé, Vermont journalist Estabrook traces the sad, tasteless life of the mass-produced tomato, from its chemical-saturated beginnings in south Florida to far-flung supermarkets....[A] thought-provoking book." Publishers Weekly

About the Author

James Beard Award-winning journalist Barry Estabrook was a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine for eight years, writing investigative articles about where food comes from. He was the founding editor of Eating Well magazine and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, Audubon, and the Washington Post, and contributes regularly to The Atlantic Monthly's website. His work has been anthologized in the Best American Food Writing series, and he has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows. He lives and grows tomatoes in his garden in Vermont.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

LavenderPixie, January 28, 2014 (view all comments by LavenderPixie)
This book will make you want to grow your own tomatoes and any other food that you can grow! Amazing stories of how tomatoes have been cultivated, changed, etc to become the bland supermarket tomatoes we buy today. There were some pretty tragic stories of those who do the labor to grow our food. It's extremely depressing! We need another Caesar Chavez type of uprising to stop this horrific treatment of humans happening in our own country! Grow your own; eat locally; preserve what you grow and care for our planet!!!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781449423452
Subtitle:
How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
Author:
Estabrook, Barry
Publisher:
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Agriculture - Agronomy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20120424
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Fruit
Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Fruits and Vegetables
Cooking and Food » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Nutrition
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Agronomy
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Food and Famine

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Andrews McMeel Publishing - English 9781449423452 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Tomatoland is more than the sad tale of one fruit's decline from juicy summer treat to bland obligation. It is an indictment of our modern agricultural system...in the tradition of the best muckraking journalism, from Upton Sinclair's The Jungle to Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation."
"Review" by , "In this eye-opening exposé, Vermont journalist Estabrook traces the sad, tasteless life of the mass-produced tomato, from its chemical-saturated beginnings in south Florida to far-flung supermarkets....[A] thought-provoking book."
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