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April 13, 2024
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Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Produced by: Chris Brookes
How do you buy tomatoes in a grocery store? Do you choose by taste, or price, or shape, or because the recipe you inherited from your grandmother calls for Roma and no other? No matter the reason, Americans are probably the largest consumers of tomatoes in the world. On average, they consume 16 pounds a year of fresh tomatoes. Most of these fresh tomatoes are grown in Florida and California. But a significant percent of the market now comes from Canada, thanks to free trade agreements struck in 1994. This intrusion has led to a good old fashioned trade war. In October of 2001 the U.S slapped heavy antidumping tariffs on Canadian tomatoes. The Canadians have answered with their own charges. Growers on both sides claim grievous injury. The greenhouse growers in Canada, who ship 50% of their production to the U.S., claim American protectionism is keeping the better tasting tomatoes off the shelf. In the U.S, the fresh tomato growers, both field and greenhouse, say that local markets are being undermined. And furthermore, local buyers now must make a Hobson' choice, between their own homegrown tomato and a nefarious import. Producer Chris Brookes explores the tomato war on both sides of the border. This program aired as part of the international radio exchange series, Global Perspectives: Faces of Globalization.


California Tomato Commission
A source of tomato facts and information on the tomato industry, tomato history, production, nutrition, recipes and news.

Canadian Tomato Trade Alliance
Canadian Customs & Revenue Agency initiates investigation into US dumping of tomatoes.

Ontario Greenhouse Vegetables
Find out about Canadian greenhouse tomatoes.

The Tomato Cookbook
by: Roy F. Guste 1996
Recipes for tomato drinks, desserts and dishes.

Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery
by: Andrew F. Smith 2001
Trace the arrival, development and impact of tomatoes on America.

Tomato Plant Culture: In the Field, Greenhouse, and Home Garden
by: J. Benton Jones 1998
A guide to understanding the cultural characteristics, production, quality factors, and environmental and nutritional information for field, greenhouse, and home-grown tomatoes.

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Programs by Chris Brookes

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