Heirloom Tomato Caprese & Slave-Free Tomato Awareness

7.24.2012

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They're here! my loves are back. I've waited all year for their arrival. I anticipate this salad of warm juicy tomatoes layered with fresh basil, creamy mozzarella and flakes of maldons sea salt that burst in my mouth. There is nothing like it and makes the wait well worth it. I will astray from its so called poser that grows during the winter months. When you have tomatoes this good they need very little work, you want the beautiful fruit to shine.

Did you know that there are slavery conditions taking place in the tomato fields in Florida? Not only are they treating workers terribly, they are doing truly awful things to tomatoes. Mark Bittman's article about the tomato fields is very informative. I sadly didn't know about this topic, as much as I like to think I'm very aware of most food related issues. The problems never seem to end and I was shocked to learn about this. I can honestly say that I dont support it, thankfully. Since I never buy cruddy tomatoes, I only shop for them locally at my market, when they are in season. When Nicole contacted me to bring awareness to topic, I happily agreed. Learn more below about the slave free campaign and awareness below. Be sure to sign the petition (it takes 30 seconds) and check out The Giving Table for more info.




Caprese Salad

heirloom tomatoes
fresh basil
mozzarella (burrata is amazing also)
sea salt
cracked pepper
good quality olive oil
grilled bread

simple as it sounds its heaven. combine all ingredients, eat it as a salad, put it on crostini, whatever way you fancy.



The Problem

Slavery is not just happening overseas. Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy once called Florida’s tomato fields “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States. In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.

The Solution

Recipe for Change--a campaign led by International Justice Mission in partnership with the Fair Food Standards Council and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers-- is targeting three major supermarket chains this summer (Ahold, Publix and Kroger's), and asking its CEOs to support the Fair Food Program. Corporations that join agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound), and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards – and away from those who won’t.

Major fast food companies, like McDonalds and Subway, have already endorsed the Fair Food Program, but the largest U.S. supermarket chains have yet to support this collaborative effort to eradicate modern-day slavery. This summer, we are asking anti-slavery advocates to petition supermarkets to do their part by joining the Fair Food Program, just like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have done—the only two supermarket chains as of June 2012.

Call to Action

Supermarkets can help eliminate slavery and other serious abuses from the tomato supply chain when they join the Fair Food Program. But in order to change its policies, CEOs need pressure from consumers.

Take 30 seconds, raise your voice, and sign your name to help ensure that supermarket tomatoes are slave-free!

Follow this link to send a letter to congress.

Links related to the topic

The Giving Table
The True Cost of Tomato's by Mark Bittman
CNN Freedom Project
The Atlantic

10 comments:

  1. This must be delicious. Great photos, as always! :)

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  2. OMG, I've not heard of tomato-slavery in the States! I have to read Bittman's article...It's good that food bloggers like you are keeping us informed about real situations like this! With everything that's going on in the food industry / agriculture, I'm starting to believe that this is man's No.1 enemy. What us supposed to nourish and sustain us, is ending up doing more harm to us (I've been reading Ruhlman lately, as you can see). How do we find the balance?

    Anyway, your caprese looks absolutely gorgeous!

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  3. For years, I refused to accept my dairy allergy because of my love for mozzarella and caprese salads. This looks delicious, and gorgeous photos - as always.

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  4. Gorgeous, as always. So glad to see you taking part in this!

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  5. Wow - I had no idea about this. Thank you for sharing this cause with us...I definitely am going to read these articles.
    Your photos are amazing - the colors are great!

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  6. The photos are beautiful, as well as the salad. But the message is one that I will never forget. Thank you for this post, what you and the other bloggers are doing is priceless, and amazing. Thank you.

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  7. Yum Yum Yum...Love Love Love...great photos and message. I am going to make one of these myself soon with my heirlooms and basil.

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  8. Beautiful photos! Mmm, tomatoes!

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  9. I love the dark and sexy feel of these tomatoes: this dish should be renamed 'Date Night' Salad!!

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