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

More

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/

Jump to comments

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

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Wild Vacation in the Pacific Northwest

A not-so-ordinary road trip, featuring extra-tall art bikes, skateboards, and hand-painted vans


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In