Hugh Bollinger
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Tomatoes -- our national shame.

I'm too young to remember a time when tomatoes weren't the rock-hard hand grenades they are today. It's only every once in a while that I get to taste a garden-grown heirloom tomato. It's like a different fruit. In "Tomatoland," Barry Estabrook writes about tomatoes as our national shame. Here's an excerpt.
... most Florida tomatoes are bred for hardness, picked when still firm and green (the merest trace of pink is taboo), and artificially gassed with ethylene in warehouses until they acquire the rosy red skin tones of a ripe tomato.
And David von Drehle sums it up beautifully: "That's not a tomato; it’s a tennis ball." -- RC
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