Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Boycott Florida Tomatoes?

Part of natural health is spiritual health, and part of spiritual health is doing no harm to other sentient beings. If you buy fast food that uses Florida tomatoes, or you buy tomatoes at a supermarket that buys from large regional growers rather than small local farms, you may be supporting slavery. Please put pressure on fast food restaurants and grocery stores to ensure that their produce is produced ethically and farm workers are treated fairly.

Here's a portion of a January 2009 letter from a farm worker:

In this season of the New Year in which, across the country, families and friends gather to celebrate and share their hopes for the future, we, the Immokalee workers, wanted to take this opportunity to share our hopes and wishes too.
Today, while the rest of the country celebrates, we in Immokalee continue to live an unimaginable life -- overcrowded, with wages that have been stagnant for thirty years, no respect on the job, violence, wage theft, and, in the most extreme cases, slavery. This past December 19th, 2008, the most recent slavery case was closed in federal court, in which workers were beaten and chained inside trucks at night so that they couldn't escape. Enslaved, the food they produced was distributed by restaurants and supermarkets throughout the country. And there can be no doubt that at this very moment, in some field in this state of Florida, there are compaƱeros being forced to work against their will who produced the food consumed today in New Years celebrations by families across this nation.
Today we ask, how many more slavery cases must occur before our humanity is taken into account? I ask the agricultural industry, their buyers, and the governor -- how many more abuses?...
With these questions in my mind, I want to express the following hopes of my community:
  • We hope for an end to slavery and other abuses in agriculture.
  • We hope for respect, a fair wage, and to be treated with dignity.
  • We hope that more buyers join the agreements we have established and that the FTGE allows the workers to receive the penny per pound.
  • We hope that the governor takes responsibility and the appropriate action in all of this. We are not hoping for these changes solely because they are our hopes, but because these are questions of universal Human Rights and we all have a moral obligation in this.

Here's some links:

Support your local, and especially your organic local, farms. Their food is much healthier for you than commercial produce.

Take a deep breath,

Dr. Ron