Ninety percent of winter tomatoes sold in the US come from southern Florida and many of these are grown in horrible conditions approaching slavery. Barry Estabrook documented ... more
Photo by: Muffet
Ninety percent of winter tomatoes sold in the US come from southern Florida and many of these are grown in horrible conditions approaching slavery. Barry Estabrook documented a case of a worker from Mexico housed in the back of a panel truck with two other workers where he was forced to shower with a hose and eat meager rations provided by his employer. He was never paid for his work and was beaten if he tried to take a day off. Sadly, these types of abuses are common in the tomato industry.
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We live in a society with a wealth of food choices that is probably unparalleled in history. While our great grandparents were mostly limited to the food that could be grown close to where they lived, we can buy a banana from Central America, a cup of coffee from Ethiopia, and a host of other foods our ancestors couldn't have dreamed of, all for extremely low prices. The downside to this abundance is that it's hard to know where our food comes from and what's gone into it. But the truth is, one reason so many foods are so cheap is that they're produced with methods that most of us would object to if we were aware of them - from slavery to clear-cutting forests. Luckily we also have a lot of alternatives that allow us to eat a diet that takes full advantage of the world's bounty without taking ethical shortcuts. Here are 5 common foods with unsavory origins and 5 alternatives you can feel good about! - By Elizabeth Stark & Brian Campbell