Exploring the Tomato engages with an apparently simple fruit in order to reveal major changes to society and ecomy. It treats the tomato as an object of fascination and as a probe into major historical changes in twentieth century capitalism. From first domestication to genetic modification, from Aztec salsa to supermarket pizza, the tomato has been continually transformed in the ways it has been produced, exchanged and consumed. This book explores what brings about a variety that is at once biological, historical and socio-ecomic. A conceptual framework of 'instituted ecomic process' demonstrates how different tomato forms are an expression of dynamic processes in capitalist ecomies and societies during the twentieth century. As both an early pioneer in mass production and a contemporary contributor to the creation of global cuisines, the tomato has been subject to intense invation. Computerised total ecologies under glass, producing fresh tomatoes of all shapes, colours and sizes, compete with sun and southern climates across the world. To enter the variety of tomato worlds is to discover the variety of capitalism. Written in an accessible style, this book makes a major contribution to the emerging field of ecomic sociology and to our understanding of the invation process. It should be read by anyone concerned with social science, particularly ecomists and sociologists, as well as those interested in food and the history of food.
Mark Harvey, Professor and Director, Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK, Stephen Quilley, University of Waterloo, Canada and Huw Beynon, Director, School of Social Sciences, University of Cardiff, UK