attack of the killer tomatoes…


[quote] Even in the fresh-market world, not everyone is convinced that heirlooms taste best. “What is good flavor?” says Teresa Bunn, a breeder at Seminis, a seed company owned by Monsanto. “Everyone has a different perception. You can do things to boost sugars and acids, but people want a different balance. It’s hard to get people to agree on the same thing.” There’s also the issue of how appearance and “mouth feel” affect the perception of tomato quality. “If you’re blindfolded, an orange tomato may taste good, but a lot of people won’t buy an orange tomato,” Bunn says. Most eaters mistrust mealy tomatoes, even if they are flavorful. Still, heirloom tomatoes do tend to have more intense flavors, Bunn says. “You can think of a tomato as a factory, with each leaf a worker. Heirlooms have fewer fruit and more factory. On the commercial side, farmers are paid for yield. They want as many fruit as they can get. A lot of times it’s perceived that heirlooms are better tasting, but it could be that they just pack more flavor into them. And just because it’s an heirloom doesn’t mean it’s a good tomato.” Flavor is in the mouth of the taster.



He visits Mexico, where the American entrepreneurs who run Del Cabo Farms are trying to help local farmers make a living by growing new hybrids to be shipped to U.S. markets. The question, Allen notes, is whether their tasty tomatoes will hold their flavor and form during the long journey north.

That musing leads into an examination of U.S. tomato breeding that has created ever firmer, but increasingly bland, fruit. As labor problems and costs grew in California’s tomato industry, farmers growing tomatoes for ketchup, sauce and other products turned to mechanical harvesting. Mechanical harvesters require tomatoes that fall off the vine when shaken — but not before — and can withstand sorting. Allen recounts how researchers at the University of California, Davis, helped develop these



Excess sodium is a leading cause of fluid retention and unhealthy fluid balance. It can also exacerbate high blood pressure by placing an additional burden on the heart. Nutritionists claim that people in the United
States consume as much as five times the daily recommended amount of sodium in their diet. While many people have put down the salt shaker, it takes more to cut sodium significantly. Many common foods have high sodium content, and some of them may surprise you.

It’s no secret that processed foods contain a high amount of sodium, but just how much sodium they contain may surprise you. A one ounce slice of American cheese has 406 mg of sodium-that’s over 20% of your daily recommended daily sodium intake. Chicken noodle soup is a childhood staple, but with 1107mg of sodium for one cup, it should only be eaten as a special treat and never with a grilled cheese sandwich. Chocolate pudding isn’t salty, or is it? One half cup serving of pudding has 470 mg of sodium. A fast food fish sandwich has 882 mg, but even that isn’t as much as the 1498 mg of sodium in just one cup of tomato sauce


“Likewise, Italian restaurants often rely on high-sodium canned tomato products for their red sauces and use plenty of sodium-laden cheese.”



[not on-line completely, yet. just stopping in to think out loud because i was thinking about how i eat a lot of processed foods and it’s kind of a system that creates the trend that leads to me eating a lot of processed foods, even when i don’t want to. the world is trying to kill us, i reckon. kraft and monsanto, especially.]



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2 responses to “attack of the killer tomatoes…

  1. Fascinating (but not surprising) info on the processed tomatoes. As it usually turns out nowadays, it is just best to buy fresh produce/meat and make your own sauces (and soups and everything else).

    Not that buying fresh helps against the bland tasting mass-produced tomatoes…


  2. And when things are bland, the first thing one does is add a pinch more or two of salt, right? Right!


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