Book Review of TOMATOLAND
TOMATOLAND / Barry Estabrook
Synopsis – Published in 2011, gardener and food writer Barry Estabrook presents a heartbreaking expose of the tomato niche of modern American industrial agriculture. From the the poisoning of the land and its harvest to modern day migrant slavery, this book is a magnifying glass on the implementation effects of the "corporation are people" philosophy, and the repercussions of libertarian economics. Greed rules, and the end result is a tasteless (in every sense of the word) perversion of what a tomato should be.
Reaction – I love tomatoes. And the title "TOMATOLAND" and the photo of the world's (presumably) most perfect fruit are what initially drew me to this book. What a tantalizing read! I thought. But the blurb "How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit" sealed the deal. Perfect. Alluring. Destroyed. I had to know the truth. And it was brutal. My only solace was the knowledge that since the book was published, there have been some reforms in the laws governing the treatment of migrant slaves. Although with the pro-corporation and anti-human administration currently in power in the USA, these reforms may not last...
Recommendation – I highly recommend this expose to tomato-lovers, people-lovers, and anybody with an interest in how industrial agriculture really works. Or if you'd rather not have your heart broken, skip the book and simply grow your own tomatoes, or get them from a reputable farmer at a farmer's market, or research which mass tomato producers are also humane.