Guest Blogger: Chris Manganaro
copyright: 2012 art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc
All things have to begin somewhere. Every food we eat goes through its own personal journey which differs quite a bit from any other food. Each food comes from some sort of industry, whether it is grown or created through a recipe of some sort. It does not simply appear out of thin air onto your plate, yet some of us just eat without considering where our food comes from. This is something worth considering. Let your curiosity work with your appetite.
Barry Estabrook is one such man who had questions he wanted answered about food, specifically tomatoes. What came from this hunger for knowledge was his book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. In his pursuit of the answers he was looking for, he finds out quite a bit more than just that. He learns about the industry as well as the fruit itself.
He finds out about the mass production of tomatoes and the rules which are enforced on them. This is something which most likely reflects on many other foods, though perhaps with less corruption and different regulations. By being inside the industry, reality checks in and the sweetness and naivety of how we picture our food being grown is torn apart. Estabrook’s book is honest and straightforward in such a way that it is just as rewarding as it is heartbreaking. When we read about the stories of slavery which have occurred due to the growing of tomatoes, it is hard not to see the irony of a red fruit surrounded by moments of bloodshed. When we see the greed that is inherent in people even when it comes to simple, inexpensive changes it is sickening. The book can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
At the same time, we do learn many interesting things about tomatoes and there are undertones of hope in the book. It highlights many victories which have been made throughout the campaign to make things fairer for tomato pickers. It also informs the reader about interesting facts to do with the history of tomatoes and how breeding works as well as the quest for tastier tomatoes. These are things which will make the reader want to find out more about other foods. There is so much out there we don’t know which we should know when it comes to the food we eat. If we are what we eat, shouldn’t we know our food just as well as we know ourselves
From Executive Editor Maria Liberati:
Thanks to everyone that came to the Davio’s Celebrity Chefs Dinner in Philly . ..thanks to Jason Bleecher for the photos here