The Backyard

The Backyard

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love Thy Tomato



Two years ago, I had the pleasure of trying a variety pack of heirloom tomato seeds. The results were these incredibly sweet, unusual tomatoes that made me realize there's more that meets the tomato-lover's eye and I gave a review of those luscious edibles I grew that year. See it here. Yesterday, I receive a post in Facebook about a new book out called Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Numerous reviews are already out there that talk about this book and modern industrial agriculture creating a monster that doesn't compare to a "real" tomato. Time gives a good review with an excerpt from the book on modern "slavery" in the tomato fields of Florida. USA Today journalist, Janice Lloyd, interviews the author, Barry Estabrook, who shares his idea of a quality tomato (hint: Brandywine). From that interview the author states: "I visited winter tomato fields in Florida where tomatoes are picked green and sent to warehouses and gassed with ethylene until they acquire the rosy skin tone of a ripe tomato. I also talked to many experts about how flavor has been bred out of them over the years so they can ship easily, maintain a perfect appearance and have a long shelf life." I'll share my own take on the book once received and read (I'm a little old fashioned and just like I enjoy an old-fashioned heirloom tomato, I like a hardcover book with pages to turn. Keep your modern electronics, please!) In the meantime, please read my review of the heirloom tomatoes and head out to your local nursery and buy a couple. The nurseries are good at marking heirlooms appropriately so you can't miss them. There's still time to plant a few and you'll never buy a grocery store tomato again.

4 comments:

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