Worth reading, particularly if you eat tomatoes! I’m not a fan of the idea of local food for its own sake (or based on misguided environmental assumptions) but, despite their energy needs, there seems to be a good case for tomatoes!
The tomato’s basic biology makes it inherently unsuitable for commercial production. […]
While their leafy vine is tough and durable, its bright red fruit is quite the reverse. Indeed, when a ripe tomato is ready for eating, it is often so fragile as to be impossible to handle without causing damage. For the home-grower, fragility is no problem: you are likely to eat the tomato within hours of picking it. For a commercial producer it is, however, a disaster. To arrive on a supermarket shelf, a tomato must survive roughly a week of picking, packing and shipping. […]
In the US, every store-bought “Tommie” is therefore removed from its vine when it is still bright green and “reddened” artificially, by leaving it for 24 hours in a room full of ethylene gas. […]
Every technical innovation has been designed to oil the wheels of production, rather than improving flavour.