Ever wonder why it's just so difficult to find a supermarket tomato that tastes like, ya know, a tomato? Well, the superficiality of the American consumer hasn't helped.
Discovery News reports that a protein mutation in supermarket tomatoes provides beautiful but tasteless uniformity. And all signs point to tomato breeders for the genetic manipulation.
In an attempt to simultaneously ripen large quantities of tomatoes, breeders discovered they could manipulate one of the fruit's most important proteins; and in doing so the tomato industry was able to lower costs and increase efficiency.
But they also dramatically slashed the tomato's natural ability to do what it does best: photosynthesize. The result? Tomatoes that lack sugar and other delightful nutrients—in other words, their flavor.
Discovery News has all of the great details behind why tomato industry breeders wanted to toy with Mother Nature in the first place. Head over to their site to dive into the fascinating story.
Of course, consumers will have an extremely difficult time differentiating between tomatoes with and without this mutation. It's great for the producer, but not so great for the consumer who craves a juicy, sweet tomato.
The obvious alternative to this conundrum? Go local. Your farmers market will provide the beautifully misshapen and deliciously flavorful tomatoes you naturally crave.
As a consumer, do you prefer beauty or taste? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share this story.