Meet the Workers Who Pick a Third of the Tomatoes in U.S. Supermarkets

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The Perennial Plate, a web series about sustainable food, interviews Lupe Gonzalo, a tomato picker and organizer in Immokalee, Florida. Paid per bucket of tomatoes and living nine to a trailer, workers like Gonzalo struggle to make ends meet. An immigrant from Guatemala, Gonzalo talks about why she came to the U.S. and became an organizer for the Coalition for Immokalee Workers. Daniel Klein, the co-creator and host of the series, wants to spread awareness about the harsh conditions and labor practices behind the produce we often take for granted. "Most likely," he writes, "there is a wonderful person just like her picking the tomatoes you buy at the grocery store.

The Perennial Plate is produced by Klein and Mirra Fine, and more episodes from the series can be found on the Atlantic Video channel here.

National Farmworker Awareness Week, from March 24 to 29, is a nation-wide effort to call attention to how much consumers don't know about farm labor practices in this country. Nearly half a million children work as migrant laborers, harvesting up to 25% of crops grown in the U.S., Helene York explains in her piece about U Roberto Romano's film, The Harvest/La Cosecha. The film tells the stories of three teenagers as they travel from state to state for work, including tomato farms in Florida. For a hard look at the tomato industry and Immokalee, in particular, see Barry Estabrook's book Tomatoland.

For more information about The Perennial Plate, visit http://www.theperennialplate.com/

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

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