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Barry Tomatoland - Essay Example

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Barry Estabrook paints a rather grim picture of the tomato industry in the United States due to the harmful conditions in which they are grown. Tomatoes are one of the most eaten vegetable and item that do not miss in our shopping lists. …
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Barry Tomatoland
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Download file to see previous pages A major downside of these industrially grown tomatoes is their lack of taste, as compared to organically grown tomatoes that re provided with the necessary nutrients and care required. Estabrook gives a rather interesting history of the tomato plant, tracing it back to its original habitat in South America, and provides a great difference between the tomatoes produced today in areas as Florida and those that are grown naturally. The use of industrial agriculture to grow these tomatoes has numerous negative effects to the quality of tomatoes produced and especially to the workers who work in those farms. This paper aims to look at two main issues Estabrook highlights facing the tomato industry and possible solutions to help solve them. Estabrook depicts the state of Florida as the worst state to grow tomatoes given its very poor soils and the high levels of humidity recorded in the state. The tomatoes are grown on sandy soil, which lacks the very important nutrients required for adequate growth of most crops, and therefore farmers have to utilize chemical fertilizers in order to make the sand soil a suitable planting medium. The sunny weather and high humidity in the state provide an adequate atmosphere for the existence of many pests and insects such as spots, blights, and molds that pose a serious danger for producing healthy tomatoes. Estabrook explains a disturbing picture of modern-day slavery in one of the most democratic country in the world where people enjoy various rights and freedoms. He clearly shows some of the harsh conditions that most laborers working in these tomato farms undergo, especially in Immokalee, Florida, the major growing area for winter tomatoes. Most of these workers are illegal immigrants, mostly from Mexico, and cannot speak neither Spanish nor English, which places them at a disadvantage. Some of these immigrants are brought into the country through illegal human trafficking channels and are usually tortured and mistreated and survive in very poor living conditions, mostly without enough food and proper sanitary facilities. They work very hard and are paid very low wages that are paid irregularly. It is very disturbing to imagine a worker ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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