Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit - Barry Estabrook If you only read one book about tomatoes in your lifetime make it this one.

Thanks to investigative books and films like Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc., we have been exposed to the shady going-ons in the food industry that gives us unhealthy sub-standard food products and inhumane treatment of animals. After reading Tomatoland, I'm almost persuaded to start an humane society for the tomato. Anyone who buys a commercial tomato know that this once noble fruit has been reduced to a pretty but tasteless atrocity.

Barry Estabrook investigates the Florida tomato business from where we get a third of our tomatoes and most of the winter supply to find out that the tasteless tomato is a well planned conspiracy. From toxic pesticides to slave labor conditions, this is a book that echoes back to Sinclair's The Jungle for pure disgust. Yet the Florida tomato industry is so strong that they can dictate how the tomato is developed and persecute any independent grower that deviates.

Books like this may be disturbing but they are essential. The author does an excellent job in his investigation but he also covers those persons who are fighting the establishment. I would have liked a little more about what the consumer can do to help but it is really very obvious. Boycott commercial Florida tomatoes and buy heirloom and organic products from independent growers. Or grow it own. It's worth it if only for taste.