Coalition of Immokalee Workers

The ladies and gentlemen at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an organization that works for the human rights of the tomato Florida pickers, is receiving some very good press recently.

I first saw them mentioned on the cover of Gourmet magazine and immediately bought a copy. And then I found a terrific two part article about them at Grist.

To sum up the two articles the men and women who pick 90% of the tomatoes eaten in the US during the months of November through May are working and/or living in slave like conditions. All of which we unknowingly support each time we eat a Florida grown tomato in the winter and early spring months.

It's not all bad news though. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is making strides since I first heard of them in 2007 but not enough to make those tomato tasty.

Gourmet offers their best solution to buying slave-free fruits: buy seasonal, local and small scale. I like that.


I almost forgot. There's also this film being shown next week about Immokalee, Florida too.

3 comments:

Kel said...

sooo important to let people know about human rights issues in your own country and where your fodd comes from. Eating local can be fraught with other inherent problems. As an 'island' nation we have fewer of these issues and we also have some pretty good workers rights laws and high minimum wages.

Green Bean said...

I picked up the magazine in a doctor's waiting room and was floored! We really do need to know where our food comes. If the walls come down and we look in the faces of the people who pick our tomatoes, well, I'm gonna bet they (and us) will live a much better life.

kale for sale said...

kel - One of the things I've noticed is how big my denial comes up when I hear about these kinds of things. I don't want to believe the exploitation is true and then I don't want to think about it because I'm not sure what to do about it. Well, except in this case I don't eat Florida tomatoes. That is not however going to solve everything but it certainly is better than supporting the abuse. I'm glad you guys are doing this better than we are. There has to be places to look for solutions.

green bean - Nicely put - when the walls come down. With all this recent press it does seem like the walls are coming down. Now we just have to be courageous to look at what's behind those walls and create sustainable systems for all of us. I hope your doctor's visit was better news than the article.