Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

On Tuesday, August 16 come down to Books, Inc. Berkeley (1760 Fourth Street) for a special book event co-sponsored by the Ecology Center. Based on his James Beard Award-winning article, investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $10 billion fresh tomato industry: tomatoes that can fly off a truck at 60mph unblemished and are “so plasticine and so identical they could have been stamped out by a machine.” Due to the heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, a tomato today contains less vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, and calcium, and 14 times as much sodium as its 1960s counterpart.

Tomatoes are our second most popular produce behind lettuce, with Americans buying $5 billion worth of commercially grown fresh tomatoes in 2009. After reading Tomatoland, we should never look at a tomato the same way again–or settle for inferior produce.

Admission to this event is free. Event begins at 12 noon. For more info, call the Ecology Center Store at (510) 548-3402.

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