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Fairfood International and a Moroccan Tomato Salad

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Fairfood International is an Amsterdam-based organisation that campaigns “to improve the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable people in our food system, such as smallholder farmers, workers (especially women) and consumers, and to ensure the sustainable production and consumption of food,” as they explain on their website.  You can learn a lot on their site about global commodity foods and workers’ lives in industries like pineapples from the Philippines, Shrimp from Asia, Vanilla from Madagascar and Central American Sugarcane.

I’ve been impressed with their efforts against poor working conditions, low wages, job insecurity, and pesticide exposure among people working in the really huge tomato industry in Morocco.

Morocco supplies most of Europe and Britain in the home-grown off-season that begins in October, so soon enough supermarkets will be filled with perfect red shiny orbs that belie the struggle of Moroccans growing, harvesting and packing them.

These videos have stories to tell, glimpses into people’s lives:

A recipe:

Well, we did actually buy at Lidl a bag of tomatoes for my daughter’s birthday barbecue. Lidl: You’ve earned some extra loyalty from me because I like the Living Wage policy you are enacting in October. But we also know now that October is when Moroccan tomatoes start to come in, so support a living wage down there too! (These were grown in the Netherlands and actually are kind of bland– and our own toms failed this year.)

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And there are lots of reduced-for-clearance peppers around, a kind of corporate-systemic glut of them…

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So on the Moroccan theme, I looked to Paula Wolfert, a hero of mine:

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And found a wonderful, easy recipe for Tomatoes, Preserved Lemons and Sweet Red Peppers (and some of the yellows will do)

This batch of lemons is a little under fermented (there’s still a little firmness in the rind but hey-ho):

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Ripe tomatoes, grilled peppers, chopped red onion.

Olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, paprika, a pinch of cayenne, a preserved lemon.

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So great, so easy.  And always love having a little live fermented food in everything!

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