There is nothing more Italian than a nice jar of "passata".
Honestly, tomatoes make me happy - a taste of home, when away from home.
Bring so many memories, fresh tomatoes with mozzarella and basil in summer, simmering pot of ragu' on the stove, mixed with tuna and olives for my mum's simple pasta al tonno recipe...
Yet, this simple goodness has some harsh hidden truth that many of my international readers may struggle to grasp...
Have you ever wondered how can a can of passata only cost a few cents?
Usually cheap food comes with hidden addition of chemical ingredients, but tomato passata no. Just tomatoes and salt. Same for chopped or pelati, max some citric acid to preserve, but that is not the problem. So, one may be lead to think that it is okay to spend so little, and the pricier brands are only going to profit the brand name, so might as well reach for the cheap bottle...
HALT. STOP. ARRETE.
Yes, because reaching for that cheaper bottle is feeding the mafia.
You read right. Your so-simple tomatoes hide a mafia system.. One filled with slavery.
Oh gosh. You didn't know, did you?
Every year, this story comes out. This time it came out because something bad recently happened.
16 people have died on the road. 16 of the slaves. Treated without dignity, packed in a truck that was taking them to the fields. Ended up in a road accident. But who knows, if it wasn't for that then maybe none would speak about the "caporalato" of the tomato industry?
So. Do the right thing and question yourself when you see cheap food: how can it be so cheap?
1) Does it have chemicals instead of the real thing?
2) How can they produce it so cheaply?
3) Could people be mistreated in the production process?
4) Can animal be mistreated in the production process?
If you can afford it - go for the more expensive alternative
If you cannot afford it, treat it as a treat and buy something else for the every day...
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