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Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:42 AM

How Tomatoes Lost Their Taste

(we already knew taste had been bred out, this explains it in detail)

snip

In most tomatoes on supermarket shelves, however, SlGLK2 is inactive. "We looked at about a dozen varieties, one from Asia, some from Europe, and all of them had the same mutation," says Powell. The researchers do not know where the mutation—a string of bases consisting of seven As, where there should only be six—came from initially. But it might have arisen independently multiple times, says Powell, because repetitions of the same letter of the genetic alphabet are prone to errors.

snip

Francis is not yet convinced that that will improve the taste, however. The increased sugar content might also be due to changes in other parts of the plants, he suggests. (About 80% of the sugar in tomatoes is actually produced in the leaves and transported to the fruit later.) He also cautions that the results obtained in small greenhouse pots might be different from what growers would see in field-grown tomatoes. "The real culprit affecting tomato flavor is a production system that picks tomatoes before they are ripe," because that changes the ripening process, he says, interrupting for instance the conversion of starch to sugar.

more
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/06/how-tomatoes-lost-their-taste.html?ref=em

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Tomatoes Lost Their Taste (Original post)
Viva_La_Revolution Jun 2012 OP
seabeyond Jun 2012 #1
elleng Jun 2012 #2
seabeyond Jun 2012 #3
mzmolly Jun 2012 #10
elleng Jun 2012 #14
mzmolly Jun 2012 #15
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #21
xmas74 Jun 2012 #7
seabeyond Jun 2012 #8
xmas74 Jun 2012 #9
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #22
xmas74 Jul 2012 #23
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #24
xmas74 Jul 2012 #25
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #26
xmas74 Jul 2012 #27
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #28
Gormy Cuss Jun 2012 #4
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2012 #5
Gormy Cuss Jun 2012 #12
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2012 #13
JDPriestly Jun 2012 #6
russspeakeasy Jun 2012 #18
The Wizard Jun 2012 #11
Denninmi Jun 2012 #16
fasttense Jun 2012 #17
Historic NY Jun 2012 #19
Chipper Chat Jun 2012 #20

Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:47 AM

1. not just tomatoes i imagine. hvae they lost nutrients, too? i wonder.

 

hubby was reading that to me. i have had my concerns for years now. i do not trust, our food supply. being the shopper and cook exclusively, i see too many changes.

the other day i was looking for the oranges. i had glasses on for distance, so could see in front as well. i told produce dude, where are the oranges? they were right in front of me. mostly green. i told him... oranges = orange.

bananas are another that just do not feel, look, act like a banana anymore. that makes me wonder

pears are sold crispy like apples.

i am having a tough time finding good onions and potatoes anymore and that use to be a given.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 11:15 AM

2. And strawberries!

Found a local market about a month ago which sold locally grown strawberries and they TASTED like strawberries. Won't buy supermarket strawberries again; they look pretty, and taste like nothing. Was sad after the local strawberry season ended.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 11:21 AM

3. yup. nt

 

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:25 PM

10. Organic strawberries are far

better than their pesticide laden counter-parts as well. So are apples and oranges, generally speaking.

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Response to mzmolly (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 10:16 PM

14. Will see if can find some (IF I can afford them!)

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Response to elleng (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:25 AM

15. If you have a Costco near you

they have great deals. Good luck!

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 11:59 AM

21. Our strawberries are packed with flavor. We got at least 8 quarts from a small plot this season.

 

That and the asparagus just blew us away. We had so much asparagus that we actually GAVE AWAY gallon bags of it!!! It isn't even a large plot - it just kept producing. Now it's moving into "fairy forest" territory, but we're still getting enough shoots to keep us happy.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 07:13 PM

7. Time to start growing the potatoes in a garbage can!

Saves space and then you'll know where they came from.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 07:34 PM

8. how interesting. hubby does the growing, but....

 

that is interesting.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 12:00 PM

22. I've done potatoes (and peanuts) in bushel baskets. It makes them easier to harvest.

 

We've got a dedicated bed for potatoes now and we always get enough to last into the next year.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 05:24 PM

23. I've always wanted to try it.

I remember reading an articles many, many years ago in Mother Earth about it and thought it sounded like a great idea.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #23)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 10:05 AM

24. It's amazing how many you can get out of a small plot. We grow them every year.

 

Our favorite variety are the blue ones, but I couldn't get them this year so we went with a Yukon sort of thing. You get back the cost of the seed potatoes many times over.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 11:21 AM

25. It's something for me to try next year.

Thanks!

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 11:27 AM

26. There is nothing better than having your own mashed taters on the Thanksgiving table.

 

On Edit: It isn't too late to plant them!

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #26)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 12:05 PM

27. I thought about it

but it's just too dry and hot around here. Even with watering I don't know how they'd do. My garden, even with watering, is scorched.

I guess I'll have to hope for next year.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 12:18 PM

28. They grow just fine in hot weather. They need SOME water, but not a lot.

 

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 02:20 PM

4. Interesting. None of the varieties I grow at home have uniform, pale green beginnings,

not even the hybrids. Of course, I grow my tomatoes for flavor not shipping.

The loss of lycopene isn't good. In the U.S. we tend to get most of our lycopene from tomato products or cooked tomatoes.

Lycopene reduction isn't the only nutritional loss from tomato breeding. Some wild tomatoes contain another antioxidant, anthocyanin. It's virtually absent from our tomato varieties although present in the inedible parts of the plant. There's a new tomato in seed catalogs called "Indigo Rose" and it's an OP variety bred from a cross between a wild Chilean variety and a modern type.



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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 03:17 PM

5. Indigo Rose is one of those that is bred from the weird blueberry colored tomato...

I've grown the blue tomato - it isn't very good. I am not convinced about the quality/stability of the offspring either (there is a big thread about these blue types on the Tomatoville website).

There are so many good reasons to grow the older varieties - flavor, visual interest, history, ability to save the seeds (and the stories). I suspect better nutritional content is there as well.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 09:43 PM

12. Yes, because blueberry color=anthocyanins present.

Last edited Fri Jun 29, 2012, 11:29 PM - Edit history (1)

The attempts to x-breed these started in the 1960s and Indigo is being touted by two seed catalogs that I trust -- Territorial and Johnnys. I haven't tasted one yet so I can't say whether it's worth a repeat. I should have ripe ones by mid-July.


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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 09:47 PM

13. Johnny's for sure - Rob Johnston is a good friend of mine - superb company!

Let me know what you think of the flavor. I am too deep in leading the Dwarf tomato breeding project to want to fit any more tangential stuff in!

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 04:45 PM

6. The tomatoes I grow in my garden, pick ripe on the vine and eat the day they are picked

are just delicious. They taste like the tomatoes of my childhood. So, the premature picking is a big problem. And that is true for most fruits and vegetables -- except, for example, avocados that have to sit in a dish (preferably with some ripe bananas) before they are ready to eat.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:52 AM

18. Ditto...

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:39 PM

11. We grow several kinds.

vine ripened big ugly are my favorite. When i like the taste I wash and save the seeds for the following spring planting.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 07:11 AM

16. I laughed when I heard this on NPR the other day.

All of the genes in the world aren't going to make it taste good if you pick it green, gas it, ship it 2000 miles, hold it in cold storage for God knows how long, coat it with wax, and otherwise basically embalm it.

OTOH, I've never had any vine-ripened tomato, with or without green shoulders, that was as bad as a typical grocery store trainwreck. Any of them can be decent, its just that some are better than other.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:17 AM

17. Not all vine ripen tomatoes are tasty.

 

We got our greenhouse up this year and grew some tomatoes in it. We used soil from the back of our property where a stream use to be to fill the greenhouse because the ground was solid shale. We are Certified Naturally Grown so we don't use petroleum pesticides and fertilizers either in the greenhouse or outside. I must say the tomatoes (but not all the produce in the greenhouse) lack a certain flavor. I don't know what about the greenhouse makes them taste bland but my outside tomatoes have a more complex and rich flavor. Maybe it's all the bugs they are fighting off outside or the slightly cooler temperatures outside at night. But the greenhouse tomatoes sure look very pretty and they sell better than the more flavorful outside tomatoes.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:18 PM

19. I'm back to heriloom varieties......

I tend to let them over ripen on the vines...certain ones have some great flavor.

When we were growing up we had to basket pick tomatoes in a specfic prescribed manner on the family farm. Slightly greens went to the bottom and the ripest to the top. They were all wiped and then the baskets were covered with towels or cloths and left in a shady area out side. We never had a problem selling them they were in high demmand. My uncle learned it from his father and grandfather they came from the old county. Hybrids tend to produce more meat but they do lack a bit in flavor and thats what most growers use.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:32 PM

20. My first cherry tomato will be ready to eat tomorrow.

In about 3 weeks I'll be able to taste my Rutgers tomatoes - old variety but still the best! I also grow Golden Yellow, Mister Stripey, Big Boy, and Sun-Sugar (orange and delicious).

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