Spread the word on Georgia Tomatoes!

Tomatoes are being left to rot in the fields, and packing facilities are tossing out unsold boxes of the fruit as Georgia farmers struggle to sell their product in the wake of the salmonella outbreak.

The next few weeks represent the height of the spring tomato harvest in Georgia, and farmers are hoping for a quick turnaround in sales.

Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared Georgia tomatoes as it seeks the source of the salmonella outbreak, grocery stores – some of the farmers’ biggest customers – have scaled back their tomato purchases because of low consumer demand.

9 comments

  1. grabbingsand says:

    Support your local farmer. There are several farmer’s markets in operation throughout the Atlanta area (and on into Georgia proper).

    http://www.pickyourown.org/GAfarmersmarkets.htm
    (Also, not in that list is the Roswell Riverside Farmer’s Market)

    Also, participation in a local cooperative (such as Moore’s Farms) is not only good for organic farmer’s here in the Southeast, but also measurably healthier for the consumer. We’ve been getting most of our vegetables from Moore’s since early spring and couldn’t be happier. Once you’ve replaced store-bought tomatoes and blueberries and lettuce with farm-grown, you won’t go back easily.

  2. jsm says:

    I’m getting very tired of restaurants claiming they can’t put tomatoes on my sandwich or salad or whatever. I think it’s now just an excuse to save 10 cents. The states whose tomatoes are affected is pretty general knowledge, and we should let restaurants know how displeased we are if they continue this practice when good tomatoes are clearly available.

  3. Icarus says:

    I’ll go further than that. I think the whole situation was way overblown. Less than 1,000 people in a month have shown symptoms, when millions each tomatoes every day. Food
    illnesses happen, and there is no way to have 100% perfectly safe food. I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant for those who did get the illness, but I would bet that the numbers of people who get it every month without mass reporting or from a claimed single source are similar.

    But then again, I deny global warming is man made, like to breathe dirty air, wish polar bears were extinct…

  4. RuralDem says:

    jsm,

    I’ve experienced that with a few fast food restaurants. I always order my burgers or anything else with tomatoes, but lately, everywhere I’ve visited has said “we’re not using tomatoes at all and won’t be anytime soon”.

    I wonder how long this will last.

  5. gatormathis says:

    The real problem is the possible liability from serving tomatoes more than anything else.

    By serving NO tomatoes, vendors don’t have to worry about a “patron” showing up a few weeks later with one of those TV lawyers saying “My client ate tomatoes here and became so ill, that it’ll take a few hundred thou to make em feel all better again!”.

    What ya wanna bet………………………

  6. Tekneek says:

    As long as a business is using the best available information to determine their usage of tomatoes, they will not be on the hook for an extravagant judgment. These restaurants are just not willing to do the extra work required to make sure they are “sourcing” their tomatoes from a safe area.

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