Washington Post Review: “Tomatoland” An Indictment of Modern Agriculture


Estabrook’s exposure of the resulting environmental and human tragedies places “Tomatoland” in the tradition of the best muckraking journalism, from Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” to Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation.” There are plenty of shocking statistics: For instance, in 2006, Florida growers sprayed nearly 8 million pounds of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides on their tomato crops, nearly eight times as much as California growers used for a similar-size crop. But by and large, Estabrook lets people — migrant workers, activists and scientists — tell the story.

In the case of pesticides, there is no tale more heart-wrenching than that of three families whose children were crippled or killed, it was later proved, because of their mothers’ work in the winter tomato fields.


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