WISDOM NUGGET: BE AWARE OF HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES IN FLORIDA, TOMATO GROWERS BEING SUED
Tomatoes abound this time of year in more shapes, sizes, colors and patterns than most folks can imagine. Yet some grocery stores are still featuring flavorless, mealy tomatoes that have been shipped cross country in a gas-guzzling truck. What a deplorable waste of shelf space, especially this time of year.
I believe it is impossible to have a grand, fulfilling life created solely around the existence of perpetual ennui. Life is best when experienced with hearty helpings of diversity—people, places, opinions, the arts…and food.
So appealing is a basket of tomatoes with a variety of dimensions, hues and flavors. Some green and tart. Others small and sweet. Speckled, freckled and often imperfect. Within the assortments of Roma, Black Velvet, Beefsteak, Cherry, Green Zebra and Brandywines, some tomatoes seem elegant, others whimsical.
Looking at such a bounty, I am reminded of how Mother Nature is often a reflection of the best life has to offer—variety. Fill your life and belly with as much assortment as possible.
Don’t be a bland supermarket tomato.
Be a Green Zebra; go in search of Black Velvet and Brandywine. Doesn’t that sound like a more exciting life than being a mealy, tasteless no-name in search of mediocrity?
MODERN DAY SLAVERY? READ MORE - CLICK TO THE RIGHT
Lack of flavor aside, there is much more to tasteless supermarket tomatoes than meets the eye.
If you’d like a glimpse of the dark side of the tomato business, begin with the NPR All Things Considered production that aired in 2011, “The Troubled History of the Supermarket Tomato”. The segment outlines that 90% of supermarket tomatoes are grown in Florida. The piece sheds light on human rights issues associated with how the majority of this produce gets to the store shelves.
Let’s continue to educate ourselves, ask questions and demand change. The best way to create change is to embody it. I’m not asking you to be perfect, I’m surely not. I am encouraging you to make small changes along the way and keep striving to invest your food dollars regionally, as often as possible.
Resources & Suggestions:
If you find yourself with end-of-season green tomatoes, email me directly for my green tomato loaf cake recipe, featuring ginger and dried fruits.
Pineapple Chipotle Salsa Chicken
In acknowledgement that I am not regionally food-perfect, I offer you this delicious, off the shelf entrée recipe. Admittedly, it’s not a recipe, really. Four ingredients and an optional topping hardly constitute a recipe…but it’s very helpful and tasty on a busy weeknight.
* with gratitude to The Winchester Star for publishing this column on 9/22/16
chef mel has been creating food experiences for over 20 years. she embraces an "aspiring homesteader" lifestyle & grows over 40 types of edibles when she's not teaching classes & hosting farm dinners. she adores simplicity, new food & edible flowers. her writing reminds us there's wisdom & humor among the seeds, stalks & sauce pots. we're not perfect & that's okay - keep it genuine & journey on!