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Food for Thought
"The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution."
-Paul Cezanne, artist

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Tomatoes Picked by the Hands of a Slave

I'm so glad you've stopped by, because we're changing the food system today.

For his book Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook interviewed Douglas Molloy, a lawyer specializing in prosecuting "an act that was supposed to have vanished from the United States 145 years ago." On average, Molloy works on six to twelve slavery cases at any given time.

Molloy says that "any American who has eaten a winter tomato, either purchased at a supermarket or on top of a fast food salad, has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave. 'That's not an assumption. That's a fact'" <-- Click to Tweet

Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes

If you're visiting The Giving Table for the first time today, you likely found me because of a collective voice of bloggers whose love for good food goes beyond their own dinner table. They recognized that together we can make a difference. That's why we're here. Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes was born standing on the sole belief that I knew I wasn't alone in my desire to be a positive force in our food system.

Slavery is not just happening overseas

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.

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. If enough of us speak up and send letters to supermarket CEOs, policies will change.

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

Click here to add your voice to the fight for slave-free tomatoes!


I've already been to several bbqs, picnics and beach afternoons this summer, and this is usually the kind of salad I cart along with me. Whole grains are sturdy, and hold up well when being transported, and fill you up.

This week I'm also participating in Tomato Love, a recipe exchange hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, and sponsored this week by Enrico Rootworks Root Wood Large Bowl with Root Servers. Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.

2 cups barely

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large shallot, thinly sliced with a mandolin

Fresh Italian parsley and basil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil

Feta cheese, for garnish

1. Rinse the barley, then pour it into a 4-quart stock pot. Cover by at least two inches of water and bring to a boil. Season the water with salt, then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the barley is tender but still has a bit of a chew; drain.

2. Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, salt, and pepper vigorously while you slowly stream in extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk until thickened, using anywhere between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup olive oil.

3. Pour the barley back into the stockpot, then add the cherry tomatoes, shallot, and fresh herbs. Toss gently to combine, then pour the dressing over and toss it again. Garnish with shaved pieces of feta.

Reader Comments (6)

This looks wonderful. SO glad to meet you through this campaign!

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

This is such a gorgeous recipe, Nicole! Thank you for inviting me to participate - and so happy to have found your blog.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

Thank you so much for what you started with this, and for involving the wonderful blogger community. I am just sorry I didn't know about this sooner, I would love to be a part of this. But I will do my best to spread the word, because it needs a voice.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfabiola

the company I worked for joined the fight last year, committing to only buying fair trade tomatoes. Thanks for creating awareness about this, it's hard to imagine that something like this can go on in the US
how can I help?

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChef Dennis

@Cassie: Agreed -- so glad to have met you as well!
@Ashlae: Thanks for stopping by today and for your participation!
@Fabiola: No worries. There will be more campaigns coming up to join.
@Chef Dennis: That's wonderful news! Glad to hear your company took initiative to do the right thing. The best thing to do is to send your letter to supermarket CEOs and help spread the message this summer!

July 24, 2012 | Registered Commentergivingtable

What a good idea. I didn't get organized enough to join your ranks today but I did sign the petition and shared your work with my readers in today's post: http://emmycooks.com/2012/07/24/migas/ I signed up for your newsletters and look forward to following your work!

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteremmycooks

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