Contemporary, the world has embraced technology in every aspect of production and marketing. Agriculture has not been left behind in adopting technology and new methods of farming to improve the quantity and, to some extent, “quality” of the product. The products can be modified to meet the market trend and consumers’ preferences and taste using the current agricultural methods. The natural characteristics of the product are altered. Estabrook Barry, in his book Tomatoland, analyses the current agribusiness processes that tomatoes undergo, the modification, and the price that the society pays for adopting these changes.
Estabrook laments that the “fields are sprayed with more than one hundred different herbicides and pesticides” (Estabrook 98) to control the ample pests and herbs in the growing fields. These chemicals later affect the society that consumes the product leading to detrimental repercussion inclined to individuals’ health. The chemical, which are mostly water soluble, comprises of high quantities of chemical, consequently, increasing sodium content in the products. The products are also gassed to control the ripening rate targeting the customers’ preferences and market hue.
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The seeds used in the production of the current tomatoes are laboratory modified to ensure that they withstand the environment where they are grown. The seeds are then suited cultivated in desert location environment where the soil, sandy soil is devoid of core nutrients. The resultant product has low levels of core nutrients and minerals such as calcium, vitamin A and Vitamin C (Estabrook, 119), abundant in naturally grown tomato fruit.
These modifications reduce nutritional benefits derived from the tomatoes consumption, but instead, multiply the risks of developing birth defects and long term disease, which escalate cost of living. Estabrook questioned the audacity of agribusiness in improving consumer's living standards. The modification of tomatoes seeds, the production and the marketing of the tomatoes fruits have changed the properties of the naturally alluring tomato fruit.
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