Why Store Bought Tomatoes Have No Taste!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eureka! I finally understand why the tomatoes I buy in the store, no matter their size or the time of year I buy them, have no taste. Turns out it is all about the genes...who knew!?!

This is what I found out from a recent article in The Week magazine-

Tomato lovers have long known that the red fruit sold by supermarkets tastes like cardboard. A new study has found why: A genetic mutation that gives commercially produced tomatoes their uniform color also prevents the production of sugars and carotenoids that give a proper tomato its taste—and health benefits. The mutation “is in literally 100 percent of modern breeds sold in grocery stores today,” Harry Klee, a geneticist at the University of Florida, tells DiscoveryNews.com. That’s because 70 years ago, farmers began widely breeding a type of tomato that, at harvest time, turned an even green color that then became a smooth scarlet shade on the supermarket shelf. What they didn’t realize was that this type of tomato has a mutation that hinders the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that converts sunlight into sugar during photosynthesis. Wild tomatoes produce more chlorophyll than supermarket varieties do, ripening into an uneven, darker green first, then a splotchier red. They’re less pretty, but pack more sugar and oxidant-fighting carotenoids—and flavor. Researchers say breeding the mutation out of current grocery-store tomatoes—which might make them more delicious but homelier—could take years.

Lesson learned- buy your tomatoes from a local farmer's market, or better yet, grow your own heirloom varieties. They are sure to add flavor to your menus.

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