Another Strike For Winter Tomatoes

Not a winter tomato, from my parents' garden

I don't buy tomatoes in the winter because I don't see the point in eating them. The insipid, rock-hard orbs usually taste like a refrigerator.

When I cracked open the latest issue of Gourmet last night, I was given another more serious reason to avoid trucked-in winter tomatoes: buying them essentially fuels modern slavery.

I like when Gourmet gets political. Barry Estabrook's story "The Price of Tomatoes" is a must-read that chronicles the abuses, involuntary servitude and general misery inflicted on tomato pickers in Florida, where 90 percent of domestic winter tomatoes come from.

At the end of the story, you'll find tips for buying slave-free tomatoes, including looking for locally produced hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes.