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?



Commercial Tomatoes
According to analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of fresh tomato today has 30 percent less vitamin C, 30 percent less thiamin, 19 percent less niacin and 62 percent less calcium than it did in the 1960s.
ISTOCKPHOTO/SCOTT REKDAL DESIGN
Tomatoland
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.
COVER: ANDREWS MCMEEL PUBLISHING











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