Tomato Justice and a Peachy Definition of Sustainability

I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Barry Estabrook in Denver during the IACP annual conference. I really consider it an honor to meet Barry again - he remembered me from Monterey! - and I learned that we really do share many values around food and friends. I enjoyed a good meal and lots of laughs with a journalist whose work I so respect, what great fun!

Mas Masumoto, Peach Farmer, author and speaker, and another whose work is so important. "Mas" convened one of our morning general sessions at IACP. His words in short turns can make you laugh and cry, he really is amazing. Mas spoke of "sustainable" food as being defined by four words: Good, Clean, Fair, and Right.

Barry, in his Politics of the Plate column, exposed the tomato grower injustice in Florida, see The Price of Tomatoes. One could say the production of tomatoes in Florida embodies exactly the opposite values that Estabrook, Masumoto and the IACP convened to discuss. The tomato growers are the antithesis of "Sustainabilty", their practices are: Bad, Dirty, Unfair, and Wrong. Since Barry's piece helped to bring national attention to the issue, the pressure has been mounting for more action. Take a moment to read Barry's exposé, it is well worth it.


BAMCo leads the way to social justice one tomato at a time

I've just learned (through this post on Thanks again guys!) about a wonderful example of people doing the right thing. BAMCo. Bon Appetit Management Company which runs dining facilities in ball parks, universities and corporate cafes has implemented a policy to stop the unfair tomato farming practices.

The Washington Post's Jane Black notes their "strict set of standards that farm worker advocates call a "rough draft" of the future of fairly produced food," will determine whether BAMCo wil continue to buy these "blood tomatoes" or not. The growers "can do the right thing, and our five million pounds of business can go to them," said Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appetit's chief executive. "Or they can let the tomatoes rot in the fields."

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