Tomato Hell

Posted on 07 Nov 2011 in Support Ethical | 0 comments

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Tomatoes are also known as "Love Apples", but there's not a lot of love shown to the migrant workers who grow them for us.

If you Google the words “tomato slaves” you’ll get a return of one and three quarter million hits.

Which might get you thinking two things; firstly, that this is anything but a small problem, and secondly, that there’s no lack of information on the exploitation that’s rife in our food industry.

Of course, those making massive profits at the expense of people’s dignity and health rely on all of us ignoring all that information over and over again, and continuing to tell ourselves the oldest lie in the book – “I’m just one person, I can’t change anything”

Well, watch this:

And then stop telling yourself that old chestnut, because you can do something, starting right now. We can all make choices that lead us to a fairer and more sustainable food system. That’s what hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices are all about – simple courses of action, that can make a big difference.

There’s been lots written recently about what’s going on at tomato farms right under our noses within Europe. This article on the Economist website asks “Tainted tomatoes: Who’s to blame for the “slavery” blighting our food?”

Three quarters of the tomatoes sold in the UK are imported. These tomatoes end up in our supermarkets, on our pizzas, in our pasta dishes, as part of our salads – and all paid for by our hard-earned cash.

So, if you don’t want to finance the kind of misery you saw in the video, what can you do? Well, you can Support EthicalHow? By buying British, or choosing tinned tomatoes and pasta sauces etc. from brands like Suma and Meridian who have ethical sourcing policies. Or you could start growing your own.

Your choices do matter, and by making different choices we can hit the supermarkets and major food companies where it hurts – right in the profits. They can’t be trusted to change their greedy behaviour because it’s the right thing to do, they’ll only change when we start supporting the businesses and brands that do better.

The most effective and immediate way that you can change the things that are wrong in our food system, is by supporting what’s right. Every pound you spend on food is a vote, an endorsement and a direct request for more of the same.

Your money keeps businesses going, so make sure you’re choosing the ones that operate in a way that you think is right.


Royalty-free stock photo from

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