Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't Buy Tomatoes

The afternoon of Halloween Valerie, Elliott in his stroller, and I ventured over to the produce stand that has been set up for the past couple of months within walking distance from the house. We were looking for pumpkins to carve.

There was a sign over the tomatoes advertising them at 99 cents a pound. We had just finished the last of our garden tomatoes earlier in the week so I thought maybe with these I would be able to extend the tomato-eating season a bit. I asked the person working there what the tomatoes looked like on the inside and she answer in a questioning and uncertain tone, "Like tomatoes??" I knew immediately that these were imitation tomatoes like one might find at a premium price in the supermarket.

I only eat fresh tomatoes from August to October and those are only the ones that I grow in my garden. Nothing available in Colorado compares, even those found at farmer's markets. Tomatoes there are usually grown by big producers as well. So why is it that the average person without a green thumb can grow a tomato that makes one buy bacon just to enjoy the T in BLT, but a professional grower can't deliver a juicy, meaty, red tomato like this to the produce section of my local supermarket, or to the kitchen of a local restaurant? The reason is that they don't have to; people buy whatever sad excuse for a tomato that they ship, so why bother to produce anything different.

I thought maybe with the e coli contamination of tomatoes a while back that maybe the public would question its purchase of tomatoes and stop patronizing this industry until it could deliver an edible tomato to Colorado. At my local grocery store they do everything they can to impress you with the tomato at the point of sale; they bag them in a red netting, they leave the stems on, they put a sticker on them that says "red tomato" just so you'll know. I wonder, have so few people actually eaten a homegrown garden tomato that they don't know what a tomato is supposed to be like?

Just because the tomato is labeled "red", has a red tint to it, is in special red netting, has a sticker on it saying "red", or even says "organic" don't get suckered in. When you get home and cut one of these in half you may find a green slimy interior, a washed-out white middle, a pale dried out mealy center, or general mush and of course no tomato flavor. Every time you buy a pathetic so-called tomato it is as if you are rewarding the growers for creating an unacceptable product. I encourage you to boycott tomatoes.

Needless to say, tomato-eating season is over.

1 comment:

  1. If you live in Maine, you can buy the Backyard Beauties and they are edible. They may not make you want to run out and buy bacon, but they will add to a salad or tacos.