Category Archives: Tomatoes

Global food waste explained with five tomatoes

Each year, the world produces about 1,471 pounds 670 kilograms of edible food for every person on the planet. We only eat about half of that. What happens to the rest? This video breaks it down — and gives you a few suggestions for what you can do to fix the problem.

via Global food waste explained with five tomatoes | Grist.


Slow Food Nation ’08

Slow Food USA hosted the first ever Slow Food Nation conference last weekend. You can find coverage at the Ethicurean and Slow Food’s Blog (among others). I finally got around to reading Wendell Berry (forthcoming post on Jayber Crow) and was excited to hear that he came out of seclusion to speak at the conference. Here’s some excerpts reported by Ethicurean:

“I’m not enthusiastic about any presidential candidate…on principle, because there’s too little we can expect from them. If we get a large enough voice, they’ll do the right thing because they have to,” said the poet-philosopher-farmer who “started this whole [movement] thing,” as Schlosser teased him on stage. We should seek out things that rely on the cooperative principle instead, like farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. “If you trade with your local hardware store rather than going to Wal-Mart, you’ll be saying, ‘I want you to exist. You and I are neighbors, and I accept responsibility for that connection.’”

I appreciate hearing about the struggles of people of faith and heroes that I look up to. Maybe it’s my dark side that wants to bring people down to my level, but I thought this was nice.

Well, it turns out he’s had his dark moments too. “I gave up on this movement about 1990,” he said. He figured he, his brother, and a few other mavericks like Gene Logsdon would just keep on doing that they did, isolated voices in the wilderness as America shopped itself into a stupor. “But then about about 1994, 1995 I began to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Wendell, there are people out there doing what you want them to do! You better go and help them.’” And by “people” he meant regular folks, people “who are farming well, or purchasing intelligently and cooperatively.” While the people on stage with him had acted as catalysts, it’s been virtually a leaderless movement, he pointed out approvingly.

And the hook for the faithful…

Berry refers often to his Christian faith when he writes, but usually in pragmatic rather than dogmatic terms. He ended with his “favorite joke from the Sermon on the Mount — I always love the Gospels for their humor,” the idea that “to love thy neighbor as thyself” is an act of selflessness. Rather, he said, a person becomes a “neighbor” not just because they live next to you, but because they can help you and you them.

The money quote I from what I read was from Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation.

Responding to Slow Food Nation’s slogan, “Come to the Table,” he pointed out that the people who picked and packed and processed all that lovely lovely food had not been invited, and that most conscious eaters in the audience were probably more concerned with animal rights than human. “Workers need to have a place at the table,” he said. “I don’t care if the tomato is heirloom, if it’s a product of slavery.”


Truth in Advertising

I love it when advertising accidentally tells the truth.


“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” The characteristics that Safeway touts are exactly what makes these tomatoes good for transporting long distances. Unfortunately they are also the least tasty and least nutritious for the same reason. Consider this a Freudian slip from a food system that hasn’t tapped into it’s own subconscious yet.

(HT: Ethicurean)

Food Recalls and Safety Issues

I had read a blurb about the tomato recall and then was surprised by the sign at Chipotle explaining why they had pulled their tomato salsa. Being aware means being mindful. Here’s a round up of links to recalls and safety issues:

Tomatoes top the list in current recall notices

“The outbreak involves 57 cases of people sickened primarily in Texas and New Mexico. Seventeen persons have been hospitalized after consuming raw tomatoes and becoming infected with the uncommon Salmonella serotype Saintpaul. An additional 30 reports of illness in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Utah are currently being investigated to determine whether they are also linked to tomatoes.”

808 pounds of ground beef tainted with E. coli O157:H7

An “undetermined” amount of beef products were recalled on May 16, by JSM Meat Holdings Company, Inc., a Chicago, Ill.. “The meat may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The meat was distributed to establishments for further processing in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. With the involvement of several processing facilities in several states, this is going to be a tough recall to enforce. If you buy commercial beef at the grocery store, or eat out, be sure to follow some good safety tips.”

(HT Eat. Drink. Better. for the links and info)