Midwest Tomato Fest: fun or wasteful? [VIDEO]

Categories: Dish-cussion

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Three young entrepreneurs who met at St. Thomas are conspiring to create a local version of Spain's La Tomatina village-wide tomato fight on July 31 at Afton Alps, charging each participant $30 to throw all the tomatoes they want and listen to live music.

The organizers say they've arranged for a Kansas-based distributor to ship 200,000 pounds of tomatoes from four different states--overripe tomatoes past their sale date that would otherwise be thrown away.

But might those tomatoes be of use to the one in 10 Minnesotans who are food insecure?

I talked to the folks at Second Harvest Heartland, who operate an extensive food rescue program, to find out if they thought the tomatoes might be salvageable, but, not knowing exactly what condition the tomatoes were in, they weren't able to say. (Though they did suggest that Midwest Tomato Fest consider donating a portion of their proceeds to their organization's hunger-fighting efforts.)

What do you think? Are you pumped to pelt people with tomatoes? Is the Midwest Tomato Fest good, not-so-clean fun, or wasteful? Join the discussion and comment below. (To get a sense of the event, watch the video below of last year's La Tomatina.)

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Hi we are the founders of the Midwest Tomato Fest, and this is what we have on our website page under RECYCLING TOMATOES...

We understand that this event seems wasteful but in fact it is resourceful and here is how. There are many farmers that grow tomatoes around the United States. After every season there are tomatoes that for some reason go bad, are un edible, and cannot be sold or given away to be consumed. So naturally un edible tomatoes=waste. We figured if these tomatoes cannot be eaten we will collect them from different farmers and throw an event like this. This event can be an annual thing for midwest states to increase tourism which is great for our economy. In addition, we will donate part of the proceeds to fight hunger to organizations that fight hunger in that State. This year(2011) we are donating to "Fight Hunger MN" and Dorothy Day so they can go buy fresh and edible food. So instead of actually ending up as waste we are recycling the tomatoes and using them. In addition, for every person that comes to the event with a canned good for donation will receive a free shirt. We would never throw good tomatoes. If you have any other questions we would be more than glad to answer it. Please visit our contact page. Thank you, Midwest Tomato Fest


According to this Strib article (http://www.startribune.com/loc..., the tomatoes are past their sell-by date and are overripe, perfect for throwing. I don't think its a waste at all, its great to see fellow Tommies using their (expensive) education to plan a fun event. 

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