Monday, June 15, 2009

Green Tomatoes...Not The Fried Kind

I just returned from a short trek up to the San Jose area and drove through the farming communities of the Salinas Valley, Gilroy, etc. As I looked out the window at the vast monoculture of agri-business this area has become, I saw something very peculiar. Not one, not two, but three large truckloads of GREEN tomatoes...puzzling.

Now, you know as well as I they are not selling them that way. I mean, how many fried green tomatoes can one eat? That left me with only one other thought...they must be ripening them artificially. Yuck! It's no wonder store bought tomatoes taste nothing like those delectable home-grown sweets!

My veritable vegetable guru Melanie informed me recently that somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of California grown produce is being shipped elsewhere. In fact, when I spoke with a local large scale grower he confirmed that the produce grown just 2 blocks from my house will likely end up as a mixed green bagged salad sold in a Vons somewhere in North Dakota. Yet, my local supermarket carries produce grown everywhere from Mexico to South America to New Zealand and in some cases it is the exact same vegetable! Does this seem ludicrous to anyone else?!

Not only are our store shelves filled with produce that has traveled many miles, but that produce must be picked before ripe, handled by several people, irradiated (yes, ALL produce-including organic-that goes through distribution must go through radiation), and placed on a shelf to sit for several days. Doesn't it just make more sense to eat what you can grow 2 blocks from your house?

Ok, so maybe I'm a bit preachy, maybe I'm the female Michael Pollan, but all I am saying is I'll take my tomatoes ripe, please!

For more info on how to eat local check out these websites:

With Love & Local Gratitude~

No comments:

Post a Comment