Slavery and other human rights abuses are an ongoing threat in U.S. tomato fields.
• Over the past 15 years, seven cases of forced labor slavery have been successfully prosecuted, resulting in over 1,000 people freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.
• Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy once called Florida’s tomato fields “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States. -- From IJM
International Justice Mission, best known for rescuing families from forced slave labor in South Asia is also working to free slaves right here in America.
Appalled human-rights violations of this magnitude are happening right here within our borders? Want assurance that you're not buying tomatoes harvested by slaves? Check out the following links, get informed, and find out how to be a part of the solution.
Recipe for Change from IJM. Get all the facts about slavery in Florida's tomato fields and find out what you can do to help. We all have a neighborhood grocery store - which means - thankfully we each can be a part of the solution.
Recipe for Change Facebook page. Stay informed, hear from others exposing these issues in Florida, and read stories and updates that point to true change and freedom.
Want to buy local? Find a Farmers Market or CSA in your area at Local Harvest.
If you have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in your town, take a moment the next time you're in the store to speak to a manager and let them know you're grateful for their commitment to buy fairly harvested tomatoes. You can also leave them a message on their Facebook wall or Tweet your thanks to each store. Trader Joe's Facebook Page. Whole Foods Facebook Page. Whole Foods on Twitter.
To celebrate and raise awareness, The Giving Table has organized a Food Blogger Facebook Page where foodies are sharing recipes that incorporate slave-free tomatoes. Check them out and get some mealtime inspiration.
In the Press: Join Michael Pollan in Ending Slavery of Tomato Workers | Did a Slave Grow Your Tomato?
Got a favorite recipe that includes tomatoes? Post it on your blog and raise awareness for Recipe for Change!
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Easiest Ever Summer Pasta Recipe::Basil Pasta
Due to poor planning, I threw this recipe together one night and begged it to save me. It was so well received, it has become a weekly staple in our home this summer. I bet this is what it feels like to win the lottery.
You will need:
1 pkg of thin spaghetti noodles (angel hair or cannellini)
1 stick of butter
fresh basil to taste (we love it so we go a little overboard)
slave-free cherry tomatoes (we get ours from the farmers market - delish)
salt and pepper to taste
shredded parmesan cheese
Boil noodles according to directions. While noodles are cooking place a stick of butter in a large bowl. Chop basil and add to bowl. Cut desired amount of cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl. Once the noodles are cooked (don't overcook), strain. Pour noodles on top of butter, basil, and tomatoes. Allow butter to melt a minute or two before stirring. Toss the noodles, butter, basil, and tomatoes until well mixed. Salt and pepper the pasta to taste. Place pasta in bowls and top with a handful of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
This meal takes about 8 minutes to make. Perfect for summer.
Paleo modification: While my family is enjoying their pasta, I either add the tomato/basil to an omelet or blacken slices of summer squash in a cast iron skillet, remove squash from pan, and top with tomato/basil and mozzarella cheese.
Want to learn more about slavery in Florida's tomato fields? Read the book Tomatoland.
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?