These tomato thieves aren’t just naughty bunnies nibbling in your garden, but a sophisticated band of crooks taking advantage of the high price of produce right now to take in $300,000 hauls, reports the NYT. [More]
Bad weather in Mexico and Florida, two of Wendy’s biggest sources for tomatoes, has pushed many of the chain’s restaurants to switch to a “by request only” policy for getting tomatoes on your sandwiches. [More]
A tipster sent us a link to this short advice column on gardening at PennLive.com, where the author says upside-down planters in general aren’t that great, and in dry hot summers are particularly bad for your tomatoes. [More]
Crappy freezing weather in Florida has resulted in a lack of acceptable tomatoes to put on your burger, says Wendy’s. So, if you want tomato, you will no longer get it automatically. You’re going to have to ask,and even then you might not get the sort of luscious tomato experience you are accustomed to at Wendy’s. [More]
Well, the FDA isn’t sure what caused that salmonella outbreak, but they’re lifting the tomato warning anyway, according to the Associated Press. They’d still appreciate it if you tried not to eat raw jalapeno and serrano peppers, because, well, they have to tell you not to eat something, I guess.
After causing the tomato industry to lose an estimated $100 million, health investigators have essentially recanted their contaminated tomato theory and have focused their attention on jalapeño peppers. The Baltimore Sun reports that new interviews with salmonella victims have revealed that many of them ate salsa containing jalepeños. Other common Mexican food ingredients such as cilantro are also being investigated, however, no new samples have tested positive for salmonella. Details, inside…
The FDA still has no real idea where those salmonella tomatoes came from. They suspect both Mexico and Florida, but as you may have noticed: Florida and Mexico are kind of big. And there’s no real evidence aside from a guess by the FDA based on the “time frame” of the outbreak matching up with the harvest in those locations.
Reader Dennis took this photo at a BW3 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He says:
McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse and Taco Bell have all pulled their fresh tomatoes after 145 people have become ill with salmonellosis, including 23 hospitalizations. The illnesses have been linked to certain types of tomatoes, but not all tomatoes, so here’s a helpful cheat sheet that will keep you salmonella-free:
Seventeen people have been hospitalized because of a salmonella outbreak that the CDC is now linking to large, raw tomatoes. There have been 40 cases in Texas and New Mexico, as well as an additional 30 cases in 7 other states. The exact source of the tomatoes is still unknown. [AP]
After repeatedly saying they would never agree to pay more for tomatoes in order to help improve the wages of tomato pickers, Burger King has apparently reached a deal to pay 1.5 cents more per pound.
Last week a Florida journalist busted Burger King VP Stephen Grover for using his tween-aged daughter’s email account to slam a farm workers group—but that wasn’t the only weird email event related to this story. Now Burger King is taking steps to officially distance itself from Grover’s actions and the other internal emails by announcing it’s launched an “internal investigation” into all three.
The next time Burger King VP Stephen Grover goes online to spread FUD about labor advocates, he should probably leave his daughter out of it. For one thing, she’s a horrible accomplice and will spill her guts to the first reporter who calls. For another thing, this forthrightness clearly makes her too ethical to smear a group that’s trying to bring pay for tomato pickers up to living wage levels.
Burger King has been fighting with tomato pickers in southern Florida for two years, refusing to pay a penny more per pound. Now the burger chain has announced that they may simply buy their tomatoes somewhere else.
A ten-year study found that organic tomatoes contain twice as many antioxidants as conventionally grown tomatoes. The study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry claims that when compared to standard produce, organic strains contain higher levels of two high blood pressure-fighting flavonoids.
These findings also confirm recent European research, which showed that organic tomatoes, peaches and processed apples all have higher nutritional quality than non-organic
The organization that is always pestering fast food giants to pass some of their profits along to farm workers by paying $0.01 more for tomatoes has scored a major victory with McDonald’s. From BusinessWeek:
Under the agreement, a third party will verify that farmworkers who pick McDonald’s tomatoes will receive the increase. Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s will also require its suppliers to follow a workplace code of conduct that the workers would help create.
To ask Burger King Corporation to pay a penny more a pound for tomatoes to increase workers’ wages is similar to asking shoppers to voluntarily pay a penny more per pound at the grocery store for tomatoes to increase workers’ wages. Both Burger King Corporation and grocery store shoppers have no business relationship with the workers and cannot get the extra penny to them.
Since they don’t want to seem, like, heartless or anything, Burger King has offered to work with the CIW to send human resources folks from BK down to the farm: