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Monday, March 22, 2010

Food Wire: Wash. U. to Start Serving Tomatoes Again

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM

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All winter long, Washington University's dining halls have been tomato-less. In November Bon Appétit, the company that provides food service on the Danforth campus, announced that since Florida tomato farms didn't pay their tomato pickers a living wage, Bon Appétit would no longer do business with them.

But now that spring is (nearly) here, it's tomato season in California and Mexico, and Bon Appétit has been able to find growers who pay their workers sufficiently. Nadeem Siddiqui, Bon Appétit's regional district manager, has promised that tomatoes will be back in Wash. U. dining halls by the end of the week.

"I hope nobody has a tomato fight," he told Student Life, Wash. U.'s student paper.

Overall, Siddiqui told Student Life, students were supportive of Bon Appétit's stand on tomatoes. The policy had an affect beyond the Wash. U. campus: Other universities decided to boycott inhumane tomato growers as well.

"It's bigger than a sandwich," Siddiqui said. "It was a stand that this community and university took in believing in taking care of social issues, which I think is extremely important, and I think Wash. U. has influenced the national market to help promote sensible and responsible farming."

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