From the story “How Industrial Farming ‘Destroyed’ the Tasty Tomato” on NPR:
Tomatoland, the book
“If you bite into a tomato between the months of October and June, chances are that tomato came from Florida. The Sunshine State accounts for one-third of all fresh tomatoes produced in the United States — and virtually all of the tomatoes raised during the fall and winter seasons.
But the tomatoes grown in Florida differ dramatically from the red garden varieties you might grow in your backyard. They’re bred to be perfectly formed — so that they can make their way across the U.S. and onto your dinner table without cracking or breaking.
From Barry Estabrook on his “Politics of the Plate” blog:
“No wonder Tea Party activists love Florida Governor Rick Scott. To save a pittance on the state’s budget, the new governor, who has a personal net worth of more than $200 million, thanks in part to being president of a healthcare company that perpetrated the biggest medical fraud in United States’ history, vetoed a bill earlier this month that finally would have brought relief to 2,500 poverty-plagued African American farm laborers who, over the course of five decades, were poisoned on a daily basis by a witch’s brew of pesticides.
I met Linda Lee, one of the afflicted workers, last summer when she took me on a “pesticide tour” of the land near Lake Apopka, a few miles northeast of Orlando. Leaning on her cane in the scorching midday June sun, Lee, who is 57, matter-of-factly listed her medical conditions: diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, emphysema, and arthritis. Her hip had to be replaced and her gall bladder removed. Her kidneys failed, so she had a transplant. She also had two corneal implants. Asked what caused her woes, she didn’t hesitate: As a farm laborer on the shores of Lake Apopka in the 1970s and 1980s, she was routinely exposed to agricultural chemicals as she worked in the fields. “Plenty of my old friends and neighbors got what I got, and a lot of them got stuff I don’t want to get,” she told me. Continue reading
From Tom Laskowy on Grist, via Activist Post:
The sort of thing THEY don't want you to see. Wiki Image Photo via Activist Post
“Big Ag is having trouble installing its Iron Curtain. I am referring, of course, to the various “ag-gag” laws proposed in Florida, Minnesota, and Iowa that would make it illegal to produce (and, in some cases, possess) undercover videos from within factory livestock farms. The latest state legislature to pursue this dubious goal is New York’s — but the fate of ag-gaggery in other states makes success in the Empire State seem unlikely. Continue reading
From Denise-Marie Balona, in the Orlando Sentinel:
Chocolate milk is the latest food to be banned from Florida schools
“The Board of Education has agreed to move forward on a plan to eliminate sugary beverages and make Florida the first state in the nation to ban chocolate milk in public schools. Continue reading
From Wayne Pacelle at Alter Net:
“March 21, 2011 | What do Florida and Iowa have in common when it comes to animal agriculture? They’ve both been hot spots, past and present, for the movement to combat some of the worst abuses in industrial agribusiness. And now the factory farming industry is fighting back in both states—and their latest methods represent their biggest overreach yet. Continue reading
From Ygeslesias blog:
Pesticide spraying in Florida -- the sort of thing you may be seeing fewer pictures of if certain Florida state legislators have their way. Click image above to go to picture source
“Once again, right-wing politics smells like freedom:
Taking photographs from the roadside of a sunrise over hay bales near the Suwannee River, horses grazing near Ocala or sunset over citrus groves along the Indian River could land you in jail under a Senate bill filed Monday. Continue reading
What would Senator Joe McCarthy have said about Bill S-510. Would he have seen in it, a creeping communist menace?
Senator Joe McCarthy -- Hey Joe, there's a helluva lot of "unAmerican" activity going on these days. Where are you?
Of course Sen. McCarthy has long been discredited, and communism is dead or so we’re led to believe. But what if Russia was just a beta test for what’s starting to happen in America now, with S-510 and with random TSA checkpoints even on domestic travel?
Raw milk journalist David E. Gumpert is certainly seeing red, over the apparent collusion with the government, of farm and consumer groups who should know better. From his latest post on The Complete Patient blog:
“I keep asking myself, how did we ever get to this point, where political and economic control of America’s food system is on the verge of being turned over to a government agency whose leaders declared early this year we have “no absolute right” to “any particular food” or to “bodily and physical health.” Continue reading