Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hmmm—Vine Ripe Tomatoes

I snagged this picture from an Atlantic article on migrant workers unions in Florida, etc. (Lost the link to the article and couldn't find it searching Atlantic's site.) I'm only posting it because it's a great illustration of modern commercial agriculture: picking tomatoes when they're green and rock hard, then gassing them, etc., to bring them to maturity when it's time to sell them. If you look on some of the leaves, you can see white residue from some sort of spray. Toxic? Non-toxic? I don't know. But the whole picture is very unappealing. Compare that picture with a bright red organic tomato at a farmer's market picked red off the vine the day before. Or better yet, one pulled five minutes before you slice it, picked from a tomato plant in your own yard.


  1. What looks suspicious to me is the attire the picker is clothed in. Surely it's not cold where those tomatoes are being prematurely harvested. Gloves? Full covering hooded suit?

    I'm trying not to draw premature conclusions. I'm not familiar with large-scale tomato production. Maybe it just looks worse than it is. But, then there's the other possibility. Maybe he's being required to protect his body from something on the plants.

    Either way your right. Those certainly won't taste like the hard earned, organically grown, fully-ripen cousins they wish they were.


  2. Who knows -- The Atlantic might have used a stock photo for their article on migrant union issues. I don't think the tomatoes would be growing in weather cold enough for his attire, so maybe there's another reason. Hope it's not chemicals --