The 2013-14 Common Book is "Tomatoland"
Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed our Most Alluring Fruit explores the hidden costs of American consumers’ demand for a year-round supply of fresh, perfectly round, bright red tomatoes. More specifically, Estabrook details the enormous human and environmental costs of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry, tracing the supermarket tomato on its journey from seed to field to consumer. Tomatoland describes troubling cases of pesticide exposure and human trafficking; examines the business of commercial tomato production; takes readers to the laboratories of scientists working to develop new tomato varieties; and recounts the efforts of those working to improve both the taste of tomatoes and the methods by which they are grown. Tomatoland draws on Estabrook’s broad research in labor and immigration issues, plant genetics, and agriculture, as well as his interviews with a wide range of those involved in the tomato industry—migrant workers, agribusiness executives, lawyers, community organizers, and organic farmers, to name just a few.
Barry Estabrook is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and former contributing editor at Gourmet magazine. He was the founding editor of Eating Well magazine and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Men’s Health, Audubon, The Atlantic’s website, and the Washington Post. He serves on the advisory board of Gastronomica—The Journal of Food and Culture. His work has been anthologized in the Best American Food Writing series. He lives and grows tomatoes in his garden in Vermont.
With its focus on food, agriculture, and sustainability, Tomatoland offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry and conversation. Estabrook’s exploration of migrant labor, human trafficking, and environmental issues will offer a valuable contribution to Winona State’s 2013-14 university-wide “Civic Action” theme. As such, the book will be adopted in a range of classes as well as in many sections of first-year composition.
Estabrook is scheduled to visit WSU February 17-18. Tomatoland is published by Andrews McMeel and will be available from the WSU Bookstore, The Book Shelf, and other booksellers. Faculty adopters should simply list the book (ISBN 978-1449423452) on their book request form through the WSU Bookstore.
Funding for the Common Book Project has generously been made available by the Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs and the WSU Bookstore.
For more information about the project, please contact Prof. Ann-Marie Dunbar , or visit the Common Book website at www.winona.edu/commonbook.