Are Tomatoes The New Blood Diamonds?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 17 2011 @ 9:55am


In his new book, Barry Estabrook exposes the system of "modern-day slavery" that feeds the tomato industry in the US: 

In the last 15 years, Florida law enforcement officials have freed more than 1,000 men and women who had been held and forced to work against their will in the fields of Florida, and that represents only the tip of the iceberg. Most instances of slavery go unreported. Workers were "sold" to crew bosses to pay off bogus debts, beaten if they didn't work, held in chains, pistol whipped, locked at night into shacks in chain-link enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Escapees who got caught were beaten or worse.

(Photo by Flickr user Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden)