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Have Slaves Touched Your Tomatoes? 'Tomatoland' Says Yes

Take heed, caprese salad eaters: Florida's fresh tomato industry is ripe for a take-down.

Take heed, caprese salad eaters: Florida's fresh tomato industry is ripe for a take-down. And Barry Estabrook's latest book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, offers a stinging indictment of the circumstances surrounding the plant's production.


Estabrook examines the evolutionary peculiarities that led to today's most common tomato species. He charts the rise of the perfectly round, artificially ripened, and nearly tasteless all-season tomato. He even unravels the historical decision that made tomatoes a "vegetable" and not a fruit. But the book is more than a compilation of intriguing historical facts; it's also a grim portrait of farmworkers today:

In the chilling words of Douglas Molloy, chief assistant United States attorney in Fort Myers, South Florida's tomato fields are "ground zero for modern-day slavery." Molloy is not talking about virtual slavery, or near slavery, or slaverylike conditions, but real slavery ... When I asked Molloy if it was safe to assume that a consumer who has eaten a fresh tomato from a grocery store, fast food restaurant, or food-service company in the winter has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave, he corrected my choice of words. "It's not an assumption. It is a fact."

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If nothing else, Estabrook's book will make it clear to anyone that the cost of food ripples far beyond the checkout line.

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via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

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Communities
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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Business
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

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Health