“Florida alone accounts for one-third of the fresh tomatoes raised in the United States, and from October to June, virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the country come from the Sunshine State, which ships more than one billion pounds every year. It takes a tough tomato to stand up to the indignity of such industrial scale farming, so most Florida tomatoes are bred for hardness, picked when still firm and green (the merest trace of pink is taboo), and artificially gassed with ethylene in warehouses until they acquire the rosy red skin tones of a ripe tomato.
“According to analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh tomatoes today have 30 percent less vitamin C, 30 percent less thiamin, 19 percent less niacin, and 62 percent less calcium than they did in the 1960s. But the modern tomato does shame its 1960s counterpart in one area: It contains fourteen times as much sodium.”
— excerpt from Tomatoland, by Barry Estabrook. What’s scary about postmodernity isn’t that it drives certain things or modes of being to extinction, it’s that it replaces them with copies or rough analogues, and it becomes impossible to remember how the world could be any other way.
They’re finally in season here on First & R, & I’m helping to make the gazpacho on the menu at Big Bear, & — you know this — there’s something miraculous about the taste of a real tomato.
article via Duff Clarity.