Monday, August 18, 2008

Fresh Tomatoes

It's fresh tomato time! These were not all red when picked, but I guarantee they were much more ripe than anything you'll find in the store! Why is that? Because commercially-grown tomatoes are picked while still firm and green to be able to survive the shipping and storage. They use ethylene gas to artificially ripen the green tomatoes.

Unless your grocery store gets locally grown tomatoes, the only way to get them this fresh without growing them yourself is to buy them directly from a farmer at a farmers market, roadside stand or right on the farm. If you like tomatoes, or any sort of produce, it is certainly worth buying them as fresh as possible and the Internet can help you find food grown close to you. The Eat Well Guide is a free online guide to finding local, sustainable, organic food in the US and Canada.

Even though the US salmonella outbreak of 2008 is now being blamed on jalapeno peppers, this article, The Tomato Pickle from June 2008, does a great job at explaining why buying local food is always the best choice.

Further reading: Commercially-Grown and Hydroponic Tomatoes and "Still No Free Lunch: Nutrient levels in U.S. food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields"

This works with Canadian postal codes, too!

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Hey there. Thanks for the great post about Eat Well (as well as the widget). Tomato season has come and gone, but I wanted to let you know that the Eat Well Guide is still very active. Eat Well has teamed up with the Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, to issue a Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge. We’re inviting people to take a spin on the Eat Well Guide to find local food and cook at least one local (preferably organic) dish for Thanksgiving, and share recipes at the CU site. Read more about it at the Green Fork. []. Hope you check us out. Thanks again!