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Old 04-07-2005, 10:26 PM   #1
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"Fresh" Fruit Problem, 2005

Am I the only person who found the fruit this year to be worse than usual? Obviously, nothing is going to be as good as "fresh, local, in-season", but what in the heck is someone to do when they live in a place where absolutely NOTHING is fresh, local, and in-season? In previous years the imported fruit was iffy, but at least hit-or-miss. This year I had not one single hit, to include oranges, which in the winter there is no excuse for being bad (next year I'll get my Floridian Mom to send me a case). Even apples and pears (usually fall and winter staples), imported grapes, and other fruit I've counted on to get me through the winter months, were completely tasteless. Has anyone else thought this year was worse than usual?

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Old 04-08-2005, 03:58 AM   #2
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Claire...
I can relate to that!
I purchased a 1/2 flat of strawberries from a road side stand. These are locally grown, in fact, the whole Oxnard Plain is Strawberry fields. There is a Strawberry festival here every year.

These berrys were beautiful. Bright red, no blimishes or unripened ones.
However, as I capped then and cut them they were hard as "bullets".

Geneatic Engineering! They have made them tough so they can be handeled by machines and bounced around with out bruseing. The taste wasn't as good as you would think by looking at the berries.

I also blame Genetic Engineering on the tomatoes we get in the supermarkets. I have not found any tomatoes that have any taste and are not hard as rocks.

You can bet I will do a taste test before I buy my next batch.

Charlie
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:28 PM   #3
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Actually, genetic engineering is trying to solve the flavor problem. Fruits and veggies are usually picked under ripe and hard. They are then brought to color by the addition of phosgene gas (stuff emitted by ripening apples) to make them look ripe. Unfortunately, there are flavor compounds that are only achieved by natural enzymes and chemicals within the fruits and veggies as they ripen on the vine. If they are picked too soon, no amount of gas will make them taste good.

The genetic engineering I was speaking of is trying to push the flavor cycle to mature by the time the grower picks the fruit. That is, pick the fruit while it is still tough enough to ship without spoilage over long distances, and get great flavor at the same time.

Though we tend to mess up more than we fix with our young science, humanity is still trying to get it right.

Of course, the maker of our world know what's going on, and knows how to get the plants and animals to work best in the Earth's ecosystem and varied climates.

We are just trying to hard to cheat and get everything everywhere. I don't think we're doing a very good job. If I want great tomatoes, I just have to wait until August, when my homegrown tomatoes ripen, then eat some fresh, and can the remainder. The same is true of all foods. Each has it's season and location. That's just the way it is, IMHO.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-09-2005, 03:09 PM   #4
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I realize that although tomatoes are botanically fruit, we don't use them that way, but have you tried a variety of tomatoes called Ugli (Ugly). They are not the same as the ones you grow yourself, but for for out of season tomatoes, they taste better than most of what is available during the winter.
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:25 AM   #5
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Genetically modified crops has been an emotive issue in the UK in particular and Europe in general for the past 5 or so years.

FINALLY, the British Govt has agreed that GM crops DO affect wildlife and plant life and they are thinking of pulling the plug on the trials.

Any supermarket chain here which stocked GM foods has more or less removed entirely all such items from their stock lists. Anything with any GM ingredient has to be clearly marked to allow the consumers to make an informed choice.

Personally, I don't think enough thought has been given to these crops and so I avoid them at all costs!
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:00 AM   #6
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Even though my previous post seems to imply otherwise, I too avoid genetically engineered foods. We had a case in the U.S. where genetically engineered corn was grown. The plant had been engineered to produce a natural insecticide, to ward off pests that were damaging crops. The plant did it's job, and then some. It also killed countless benifical insects and a host of, I believe it was Monarch Butterflies, migrating northward from their winter home. The corn was quickly banned.

There have been some successes with GE food, but because we have such limited knowledge about the interactions of ecosystems, I believe the risk is far greater than the benefits. We just don't know enough to be doing this type of thing.

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