Flawed Fruit: The Not-So-Rosy Reality of Industrial Tomato Farming in America

Those perfect-looking tomatoes in the supermarket have been stripped of nutrition and flavor, doused with pesticides, and were perhaps picked by slaves. How has agribusiness been able to so defile one of our favorite fruits?

Tomato fields are sprayed with more than 100 herbicides and pesticides. Fruits are picked green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding produces tomatoes with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C. The drive for low costs has fostered a thriving, modern-day slave trade. In “Tomatoland,” award-winning food journalist Barry Estabrook takes readers behind the scenes of tomato production in America — and you’ll never look at an impeccably smooth, evenly shaped and perfectly red supermarket tomato the same.