Slave-Free Tomato & Coconut Bisque
I usually don't bring up major news or anything happening outside of my kitchen on this blog, but today I will gladly be breaking away from the norm. You might already be a bit thrown off by the title of the post, and that's ok. If you stick around, I'll explain it to you, and if you hang in until the end, a delicious recipe awaits.
Were you aware that roughly 90% of out of season tomatoes at your local grocery store chain are grown in Southern Florida? Were you also aware that this area has been referred to as "ground zero" for modern day slavery in the United States? Yes folks, slavery still occurs on American soil. The nearly 1 billion pounds of out of season tomatoes arrive on grocery shelves at the cost of human rights abuses of migrant workers and child laborers who only see less than one cent per pound of tomatoes. Unbelievable. Unacceptable. Ridiculous.
From this point on, it is within our best interest, as a nation, and as human beings interested in respecting the human rights of others, to seek out slave-free tomatoes or none at all. This summer, the International Justice Mission formed a parternship with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers as well as the Fair Food Standards Council in order to start "Recipe for Change". This is a campaign that will raise awareness about the injustices occurring in tomato fields across the United States. The goal is to develop a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor, and abuse. Through both of the organizations mentioned above, and consumers like you and me, it is our intention to ask major supermarket chains to support the Fair Food Program which would provide you with slave-free tomatoes. Supporting this means a slight increase per pound of tomatoes (1.5 cents) and a promise to purchase from farmers abiding by the aforementioned standards. Trader Joes and Whole Foods are already on board, as are local farmers markets and CSA programs.
You might feel helpless in this matter, but spreading the word about this problem is the best way to get it out into the public. You can support this cause simply by purchasing your slave-free tomatoes from the locations mentioned above, but if you want to take it a step further, I encourage you to contact your local supermarket and demand that they sell slave-free tomatoes. As human beings, we should put the welfare of others first above profit.
In order to spread awareness about this issue, the Giving Table initiated a day long awareness campaign for food bloggers on July 24th in which they could share slave-free tomato recipes. So, even though I'm a few days late, I'm sharing a recipe for a slave-free tomato and coconut bisque in hopes that this will spread awareness about this issue, and also put something yummy in your belly.
Slave-Free Tomato & Coconut Bisque
notes: in case you saw the word "bisque" and automatically refused to turn on your stove because it's a million degrees outside, this is a raw recipe and only requires a blender and knife work. In addition to being raw, it's vegan, gluten free, and grain free. It will make around 3 cups which will yield roughly 2 to 3 servings.
2 pints of slave-free heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes (mine were from the local farmer's market)
large handful of fresh basil leaves
heaping 1/2 cup of raw cashews
scant cup of full fat coconut milk (this is about 1/2 of a 16-oz can)
juice of 1 lime
heaping tsp. of freshly grated ginger
good pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. If you blender isn't powerful enough, you might have a chunkier bisque, but it will still be tasty! Serve garnished with additional basil leaves and a bit of coconut milk. This bisque can be served chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!