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Estabrook Goes to Tomato School and Learns about the New Rights Farmworkers Have Won under the CIW Fair Food Agreement

Last week, I attended tomato school. Sitting in a room at a packing plant near Immokalee in southwest Florida with about 50 migrant laborers, I learned that I had a right to earn a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, could take regular breaks in a shady area provided by the farm—including a lunch break. […]

Tomatoland–The Book

  Want a taste? Click here to read an Excerpt. Available Now in Print and Electonic Formats Click here to place an order with Amazon Click here to place an order with Barnes & Noble Click here to order through iBooks Click here to place an order with Indiebound Click here to place an order with […]

Introducing “Tomatoland,” My Soon to be Released Book about What Industrial Agriculture Has Done to Our Most Alluring Fruit

  To be Published in June Click here to place an advance order with Amazon Click here to place an advance order with Barnes & Noble Click here to place an advance order with Borders Click here to place an advance order with Indiebound Click here to place an advance order with Powell’s   What the […]

Tomato Workers Travel 3,000 Miles to Ask for a One-Penny-a-Pound Raise; Big Supermarket Chains Give them the Cold Shoulder

My protest marching skills are a bit rusty, having last been put to use in 1968 on behalf of Eugene McCarthy and his thwarted bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. But on a bitter afternoon in Boston recently, I sloshed through a few inches of slushy snow with more than 900 supporters of the Coalition […]

Tomato Workers Take to the Streets in Boston to Convince a $40-Billion Supermarket Conglomerate to Pay them One Penny More Per Pound

Jose Hilario, a 48-year-old native of Guerrero, Mexico, came to the United States hoping to find work in the tomato fields that surround the town of Immokalee in southwestern Florida. He wanted to send money home for his sister’s children’s schooling. Instead, he found himself enslaved—literally. For two years he was forced to toil for […]

Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum on a Roll Through the Northeast. Here’s the Schedule. Check it out. A Winter Tomato or Orange Will Never Taste the Same

Fresh from stops in Washington, D. C., on the National Mall and at the State Department, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ well-traveled Modern-Day Slavery Museum is heading up the eastern seaboard. Centered around a tomato truck nearly identical to one in which slaves were locked at night in 2008 case, it will be visiting Baltimore, […]

Food Writing’s Longest Losing Streak Ends: Estabrook Gets Beard Award for Article Exposing Slavery and Other Labor Abuses in Florida’s Tomato Fields

  Thanks, Ruth, Doc, Rux, and you, too, Jim Driving from Naples, Florida, the nation’s second-wealthiest metropolitan area, to Immokalee takes less than an hour on a straight road. You pass houses that sell for an average of $1.4 million, shopping malls anchored by Tiffany’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, manicured golf courses. Eventually, gated communities […]

Farmworkers Score Major Victory in the Fight for Fair Treatment

Chalk up another one for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the Florida-based community organization that has been trying for decades to improve the grim lot of migrant tomato pickers, most of whom toil for less than minimum wage. This week, ARAMARK, the giant corporation that supplies food to universities, hospitals, stadiums, and other institutions […]

A Sunshine-State Attraction with a Big Difference: The Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum

With faux jungles full of parrots, pods of under-water-ballet-performing mermaids, and parks cashing in on every conceivable theme, it would seem that the last thing Florida needs is yet another “attraction.” But if you’re in the Sunshine State during the next six weeks, I strongly urge you to visit the new Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum. […]

Florida Farm Workers Left Out in the Cold

Photograph by Scott Robertson courtesey of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers   Following this week’s prolonged cold snap in Florida, news reports bemoaned the prospect of higher prices for orange juice and crops such as strawberries, citrus, and tomatoes. The state’s governor (and United States Senate hopeful) Charlie Christ promptly issued an executive order to […]