Food Bloggers for Slave Free Tomatoes

My friend over at Pinch of Yum (I talk about her a lot; she is awesome) pointed me towards this totally awesome thing happening today... Yes, her Roasted Corn and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes are awesome.  (I'm assuming.  I haven't rushed home from work to bake them. Yet.  But look at them.  Just look at them!)

(photo credit: Pinch of Yum)

But what's awesome-r (yes, awesome-r!) is what she and hundreds of other food bloggers are doing to make sure that the tomatoes we eat are picked and supplied to our grocery stores fairly... and not at the cost of those who pick them.  We are using the word Slavery here, people.  Slavery.  Here.  In the United States.

It's Tomato Tuesday, my friends.

Here are some stats that I have learned recently:

  • Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy once called Florida’s tomato fields “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States.
  • 90% of domestic tomatoes are harvested and consumed in Florida, where the heart of this problem exists...
  • female field workers face sexual assault and abuse
  • Each season, 10,000-15,000 immigrants flock to Florida to find work in the fields, where they are susceptible to unjust conditions
  • In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.

So, if you've eaten a tomato that's not from the Farmer's Market, a CSA, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods... you are likely eating a tomato picked by a slave.

That makes these delicious tomatoes not so yummy.

So - the International Justice Mission has challenged supermarkets to join the Fair Food Program, where they pay a marginally higher rate (1.5 cent per pound) to get their tomatoes from farms that abide by higher, just standards.

Already Subway, Trader Joe's--heck, even McDonald's--is doing it.  Good for them.  (It makes me feel slightly less guilty about those fries.)  But most supermarkets have not embraced this.  They need to.

Which is why we bloggers are bringing it to light.

To help, you can:

  • Sign this petition.
  • Share this post, or others, on Facebook - tell your friends.
  • Connect with the International Justice Mission on Facebook.  Or Twitter.  They'll keep you updated on what's happening, and share with you many other bloggers who are doing their part.
  • And, of course, get your tomatoes from your CSA, the Farmer's Market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's...

Or, if you have a "tomato corner" like we do, you can just grab them from the garden...

Those plants look deliciously un-touched by slaves.

Here, a short video from The Giving Table, who has helped launch this food blogger push on behalf of the International Justice Mission.  Thanks for putting this out there, and bringing this to my attention...

[vimeo 45218739 w=400 h=300]