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Why does foul have to be so toxic? - Page 2

post #31 of 50
     The people get what the people want.  Tomatoes?  Chicken?  Doesn't really matter.  We demand longer shelf life, more pleasing color or shape and low prices.  We get something that many people think looks better, will last longer on the shelves, will ship easier from long distances and a product that doesn't have to taste all that good.

       ,
    dan
post #32 of 50
Among the converted? Who do you think built that soapbox?

But, of course, the negatives about the U.S. food distribution system are grist for a different mill.

Just one minor correction, though. Hybrids are no more bred to stay red (or whatever color---there are eight major tomato colors) for long periods than are heirlooms and other open pollinated varieties. Instead, they are picked green (that is, unripe) and held in temperature-controlled warehouses until needed. At that point they are gassed (ethylene---the same product that naturally turns tomatoes red--or other natural colors) to change the color, and shipped to the retail distributors. Reason they taste so bad is because, while they are colored, they remain unripe.

"Vine ripened" isn't a whole lot better, because the legal definition of vine ripened doesn't begin to resemble what normal folks think the phrase means.

But don't let me get going.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post

     The people get what the people want.  Tomatoes?  Chicken?  Doesn't really matter.  We demand longer shelf life, more pleasing color or shape and low prices.  We get something that many people think looks better, will last longer on the shelves, will ship easier from long distances and a product that doesn't have to taste all that good.

       ,
    dan

I must say that I am not persuaded on this point. Not so many people in this country are clearly aware of other options, in large measure because big corporations -- the folks who run supermarkets right the way back up to the big container farmers -- have little to gain and much to lose by providing real options. So the options we get are bad tomatoes, bad tomatoes, and bad organic tomatoes. I am not convinced that if people actually had to opportunity to buy good tomatoes at decent prices, they wouldn't do so. In fact, I notice that in rural farmer's markets, local folks -- hardly the wealthy -- do frequent farmer's markets in season and often buy that produce with things akin to green stamps.

Let me put it differently. Suppose that lots of ordinary people, perhaps even the majority, do not in fact want their tomatoes to be tasteless and awful. What can they do about it? They could organize on a massive scale to drive the mainstream food chain in other directions, but it's hard to imagine this actually happening -- it requires a kind of political excitement and involvement that is not common in the US today, and besides, such a movement would be (has been) immediately branded as left-wing extremism (with some justice -- look at Alice Waters), making it unattractive to most. So the result is that there is no actual challenge to big corporations working in a fashion that is good for them.

In fact, the mainstreaming of "organic" has been an extraordinary example. Essentially the big corporations have realized that "organic" doesn't mean much, cost-wise, and it allows you to mark the same bad ingredients up considerably. Not only does this mean more money for the businesses, but it also completely de-fangs much of the organic food movement: "what do you want? you asked for organic food and now you've got it, so if you're still complaining I guess you're just an extremist crazy." (Please note: I don't mean that "the big corporations" are some sort of united cabal, just that one company figures out something like this and the others jump on the bandwagon because they can see it's good business. Competition is quite real, but it does not in this case eventuate in many real choices for the consumer.)

To my mind, people only get what they want when they have an opportunity to choose. Supermarket produce gives us choice rather the way a stage magician allows us to "pick a card, any card."
post #34 of 50
I've got a basic disagreement with your premises, Chris. The most cogent one being: it isn't that they do or don't want tasteless food. The problem is that they want tomatoes in January, and have been trained that they can have them. They want what they want, and they want it now! And they want it cheap. To continue in that direction requires that there be no significant changes in the food distribution system.

The sad part is they often know better, and just don't care. In another context, look at the studies that were done in the fast-food industry. Time after time it emerged that fast-food customers were very aware about the nutritional pitfalls of such food. But the convenience and price points determined where they ate, not the nutritional value. Fast Food Nation was a long-time best seller. But how many people really put down their Big Macs as a result?

It's hard to believe that they act any differently with the food they buy for home consumption.

Suppose that lots of ordinary people, perhaps even the majority, do not in fact want their tomatoes to be tasteless and awful. What can they do about it?

Maybe not the majority. But a significant number of people do know better and are doing something about it. Trouble is, they tend to be fractured, so the total numbers are hard to come by. We assume, for instance, that people involved in the Slow Foods Movement and those who proclaim themselves to be Locovores are the same folks? But are they? And, if not, how much overlap? Separate from that is the big movement to grow all or part of your own food. Again, how many members of that group overlap with the others. Etc.

I can, if USDA is to be trusted, give you a chart showing the growth of farmers markets and CSAs in America. That growth has not only been steady, it's been exponential. What I can't give you are any reliable numbers of the people who are shopping at those markets or are members of the CSAs.

Ten years ago I was the only person I knew who refused to eat tomatoes out of season. Now I know dozens of people who do the same. Only one of them is what anyone would describe as an activist.

More to the point for the Cheftalk community, is the ever-growing number of chefs who base their menus on what is seasonally available. True, due to circumstances, "seasonal" often means "what is seasonally available at the terminal market." But look, too, at how many of them are insisting on locally grown---however that's defined.

So, I'd say there is great awareness of the differences in food quality. But even though it's changing, most people really don't care.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #35 of 50
Budget is the killer to organic and free range goods, IMO.  People in general because of this are also accustomed to the taste of the cheaper goods, and if they get to have someting different, then it doesn't taste "normal".  We are actually starting to get more variety  regarding heirloom type and free range and organic goods here - which whilst it's great to see that - the prices are still over the top.

And seasonal..use it, do it.  It never tastes as well out of season.  If you have the freedom to do it.  I realise sometimes customers want this that and the other 24/7/365 days a year, and in some circumstances you have no choice.  But you just know something else could be better, but its on the menu, so you have to run with it and do your best.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post

     The people get what the people want.  Tomatoes?  Chicken?  Doesn't really matter.  We demand longer shelf life, more pleasing color or shape and low prices.  We get something that many people think looks better, will last longer on the shelves, will ship easier from long distances and a product that doesn't have to taste all that good.

       ,
    dan



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post

Quote:


I must say that I am not persuaded on this point.



   Hi Chris,

  My point is not that a person or persons today wouldn't choose a better tastier product.  But that people, over the years, have driven the market in a direction that we now have an abundance of inferior products. 

   Back a number of years ago, most people only had one option for meats, milk, eggs, produce, etc. They bought local products.  Over many years we (the people) were given the opportunity to purchase (or grow) the products we know or buy something cheaper...or something out of season.  Each time we were given the opportunity to make a sacrifice in quality for some other quality we (the market makers) chose to sacrifice quality in favor for convenience or lower price.

   Because of all of these decisions made in years gone past, we are left with eggs that hold no bounds.  Tomatoes that look perfect...nearly forever, but have no flavor.  Other fruits and vegetables that are in the same boat as tomatoes (what happened to a good potato, garlic, carrots!).  

    I also believe you compound this problem when people are duped into thinking that they're making healthy choices.  Some of these choices has led us to today's pork, chicken and turkey products.   There are several contributing factors, but I believe the people get what the people want. 

   I love the fact that there are more and more CSAs and farmers markets, but not entirely thrilled.  The reason I'm not thrilled is because I'm finding that many of the vendors are no better than many of the larger businesses in the grocery store.  I talk to them and they say many of the right answer (we grow our own, organic, fresh, etc.), but many times I've found products no better than I find at the grocery store.  Mind you...always for a higher price.

  My favorite example are some farm fresh eggs that I bought at a farmers market.  The gentleman told me a story about how he and his wife were up all night cleaning these very eggs just for today.  Everything about the eggs, chickens, feed sounded great!  I gave the man my money with a big smile.  I love fresh eggs and have eaten them when they were just laid.  So when I got home I couldn't wait...I'm cooking me an egg!  So I heat up the pan and crack the egg.  I then watched in disappointment as the whites filled the entire pan.

   I do believe there is a growing number of people today that demand quality food products. But I also believe there are many consumers that are happy paying more money for a product that is no better than what they already know...they buy it because it's politically correct (or the "in" thing to do).  This doesn't help the cause!

   I'm sorry to ramble on so much...but I'm a little ticked off!

   dan
post #37 of 50
Actually, I think we're all on the same page. I overstated a bit -- I misread your remarks, Dan.

Point 1 -- seasonality, yes, point taken, KY. People have been taught that they can have anything they want whenever they want it.

My only issue of disagreement is that I don't think it's correct to say that the people get what the people want. Advertising, corporate production, all these things are systems that create "needs" where they did not previously exist, and/or dramatically transform existing "needs" until they are essentially unrecognizable. The end-result is people who "need" something that can only be provided at an insane cost or through the means provided by the people who invented the "need." That's what corporate industry does, its stock-in-trade.

For example, people did not suddenly decide out of nowhere that they just had to have tomatoes in December in Vermont. They were taught this, and not by farmers. Once the need is created, it has to be fed, and so on around in circles.

In short, people get what they want -- but what they want is what they have been told to want.

My take on things like CSAs, farmer's markets, locavores, Slow Food, and the like is multilayered, and here I think Dan and I are pretty close to agreement.

First, you're talking about a very small and basically fragmented group of people who want these ingredients for quite different reasons. For these people to make serious changes to the industry, they'd have to be far more numerous and more organized, and I don't think that will happen in my lifetime.

Second, lots of people are interested in this sort of thing because they've been told it's clever and politically appropriate. Such people are almost invariably the people that some right-leaning politicians and commentators have so successfully branded "elites." This entails that a large group of folks who think of themselves as "ordinary folks" have a basic negative reaction to these same things, on purely political/peer-pressure grounds. As Dan says, this doesn't help the cause.

Third, there are those -- I'd include myself in this group -- who basically care first and foremost about what the food tastes like. Yes, it would be nice if the good stuff were also humane and green and whatnot, but frankly I'm going for taste. Fortunately, I suppose, generally the good stuff is humane and green, so it seems like win-win. But the problem is that as a member of the northeastern urban educated white-collar professional crew known as "the elites," I can't buy these sorts of things without its being assumed that my reasons are primarily political, which they aren't (not in the mainstream sense of "political," anyway). What's more, I know that an awful lot of high-quality ingredients are marked up heavily to appeal to the people for whom this is primarily a way of being clever and trendy. And while I don't think Alice Waters and the serious Slow Fooders are doing what they do to be clever or trendy, the fact remains that so many of them are so hard-nosed about things that I find it difficult to agree with them on general principles. I actually know a significant number of people who feel like this -- who find themselves searching Asian markets for ingredients their neighbors won't touch simply because we get good flavor without buying into some sort of marketing-political-trendy-niche thing. Again, this doesn't help the cause!

I suppose we're long since off the subject, so let me bring it back to chicken and why it's usually so fowl. Or foul?

If Purdue chicken tasted decent and I could eat it raw, I'd probably not worry myself unduly about the ecological and moral difficulties. Since it tastes rotten and is teeming with samonella, I don't want it. I can see that there is a place for chicken like this in the US food economy, but it's not on my plate. What I object to is that "organic, free-range" chicken at the supermarket is exactly the same and costs three times as much, when I can get actually rather good chicken from the Chinese market for the same price. This tells me that people buy the nasty stuff because they don't know better or are (in my neighborhood anyway) too basically bigoted to visit an unfamiliar market. Since they could buy all their groceries at the Chinese market, why don't they? Because they don't want anything remotely unfamiliar, especially if it's "not American."

Does this mean they "get what they want"? I suppose so. But since "what people want" is a product of gross ignorance, carefully inculcated by industries with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, I just don't really buy the premise.

Anyway, we're all probably in agreement and have long since run way off the rails of this thread -- largely my fault, I admit -- so I suspect we ought to let it drop. (Or bring it up in another thread....)
post #38 of 50
Chris - just a comment on oriental markets *in the Orient regarding fowl.  As you would know, much of it is purchased live by the locals, clucking and squawking.   Then once chosen, despatched in the shop or even sent home live with the customer.  Is the freshness of the bird the issue - just a thought.  Chicken wrapped in pastic pumped full of water have got to taste different.  And most probably, have more health/contamination issues.

I've been through Asia i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau.  Very often the products such as seafood and fowl are live in the markets.  You would have seen this to be sure in Kyoto.  I've seen snakes being boiled live in the streets for customers, then skinned. This may be off-putting for some folk, but it is the way it is.  It is common practice. Point being - Could this be a factor in this thread that fowl are used very shortly after despatching them?

my 2c worth (yet again)

Just an addition - about certain foods being trendy of a moment in time - avocados are fetching AUS$4 (approx. USD$3.60) each- yes, each!.  They should be in season, but naah, I head away from them.  Just because Lent is coming doesn't mean a product that goes very well with fish has to sky-rocket in price.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #39 of 50
Chris, your analysis of corporate America is generally on the button. But there's one thing you're overlooking.

Most people have trouble thinking of food as a manufactured product. But it is, no differently than building houses or cars or televisions. Once you see that, a lot falls into place.
 
In America (if you back out all the government interference) we work under a capitalist economy, the goal of which is to minimize costs and maximize profits.

In theory, the best way of doing that is through monopoly. That being against the law, the second best way is to limit choices so that you minimize costs through economy of scale. If you buy a product within the established system you accept the makes, models, color schemes made available to you by that industry.

So, point one, whether it's an SUV or a tomato, they are manufactured, delivered, and marketed the same way. If you want a car, you go down to the Ford dealer. If you want a tomato, you go down to Kroger.

In all cases you get what you want. But what you want has been determined by the appropriate industry.  A short while ago we were taught, by the auto industry, to want SUVS. Just as we were taught by the agricuture industry to want strawberries in January. Allee allee samee same.

Point two: Within any product line you can make choices outside the system---if you're willing to pay for them. Don't like the colors Chrysler is offereing this model year? Order a custom color. Don't want the speakers that come with the sound system? Order other ones to your liking. Special orders represent increased manufacturing and distribution costs, and, therefore, carry a higher price tag. The ultimate in "custom" would be an entirely unqiue version of the product.

In general, the further outside the system custom stuff is, the more it costs, and is, therefore only available to the elite, cuz they're the ones who can afford it. Joe Blow, from down the block, isn't the one buying a 12-cylinder, rag-top Jaguar touring car, painted Wildcat blue.

It's only in the food industry that this breaks down. Products ordered outside the system often  do not represent increased manufacturing costs. In some cases, far from it. As we've discussed, the produce grown by the organic divisions of the factory farms actually costs less to manufacture. Free range fowl should cost about the same as factory chickens. Etc. But, because they are marketed as a custom item, they carry higher pricetags. 

As to the argument that alternative agriculture proponents constitute an elite, well, I could argue against that easily. But I won't. Instead, I say, so what? I don't hear the people who rail against the food elite railing against the car elite, or the refrigerator elite, or the clothing elite. Yet, at base, there is no difference.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #40 of 50
DC,

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

I've been through Asia i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau.  Very often the products such as seafood and fowl are live in the markets.  You would have seen this to be sure in Kyoto.  I've seen snakes being boiled live in the streets for customers, then skinned. This may be off-putting for some folk, but it is the way it is.  It is common practice. Point being - Could this be a factor in this thread that fowl are used very shortly after despatching them?

Just an addition - about certain foods being trendy of a moment in time - avocados are fetching AUS$4 (approx. USD$3.60) each- yes, each!.  They should be in season, but naah, I head away from them.  Just because Lent is coming doesn't mean a product that goes very well with fish has to sky-rocket in price.

In Taiwan, Macao, and Hong Kong I've seen this. Not in Kyoto -- not with chicken, anyway. Actually it's not so easy to get whole chickens in urban Japan, much less live, but they're pretty much invariably very fresh, dispatched this morning. Live fish, yes of course.

I do think, however, that the freshness is a double issue -- as it is with tomatoes. The really fresh fowl in Asian markets does not keep nearly as long, for a number of reasons, including breeding, handling, water absorption during cooling, and the like. So it tastes better when it's fresh, but worse when it's not. Same with tomatoes: good old-fashioned farm tomatoes don't keep especially well, and have to be bred to do so, at the expense of taste.

Avocadoes? $3.60 apiece is expensive -- we get them here for only a little under $2 US. They used to be $0.69 each, just maybe 5-10 years ago, but they've been hiked ridiculously.

Actually, this raises another point about the industry. Whenever there's a hurricane in Florida or a drought in California, the produce prices rise. That's understandable. But the thing is, once up, the prices never come back down. People get used to paying so much for bad tomatoes, why should the supermarket charge less?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Chris, your analysis of corporate America is generally on the button. But there's one thing you're overlooking.
...
In America (if you back out all the government interference) we work under a capitalist economy, the goal of which is to minimize costs and maximize profits.
...
As to the argument that alternative agriculture proponents constitute an elite, well, I could argue against that easily. But I won't. Instead, I say, so what? I don't hear the people who rail against the food elite railing against the car elite, or the refrigerator elite, or the clothing elite. Yet, at base, there is no difference.

All agreed 100%, KY. Just two remarks. First, my point about "elites" is a matter of perception and branding by certain blocks of people, not a judgment. Your second point takes us into the realm of pure American politics, where in this forum we ought to tread rather lightly, but...

The basic difference between "food elites" and other kinds of product "elites" has to do with two issues tightly related in American political conceptions: ecology and animal rights. These issues have, as a result of enormous efforts by certain groups, been marked as far left-wing. Someone who spends $150,000 on a car is wealthy and/or self-indulgent; someone who seeks out farm-raised heirloom pork is an extreme left-winger. We could go on endlessly about how this association has been made, why and where it does or does not represent real political affiliations, and the like, but as far as I can see this is what's going on.

The interesting part is that "organic" has pointed to a real possibility, one that I think has greatly surprised both the food industry and the political commentators. The expectation, I think, was that "organic" would only be popular with left-wing "elites." But in fact this has turned out not to be the case. This is why WalMart is selling organic products, for example: the market is there. This suggests that actually people do care about what goes into their food, at least to some degree, and that when given a choice they will seek out superior products with some regularity. Sadly, of course, corporate America has worked out a way to charge people more for basically the same products, drawing on a much-advertised misunderstanding -- i.e., the fact that "organic" celery from WalMart is not markedly superior in any sense to conventional -- but the fact remains that WalMart couldn't sell "organic" carrots if a remarkably broad swathe of middle America weren't somewhat concerned about what they eat.

Now if I were really cynical, I'd probably argue that WalMart et al. are basically achieving two things with this: getting more profits without delivering anything for it, and teaching people that organic products are not superior to others. But I don't actually subscribe to that deep a cynicism. I think the WalMart folks probably just figure that there's a market and they should cater to it. It remains to be seen, however, whether marketing "organic" will actually in the end encourage people to go back to conventional (the products being basically the same) or whet their appetites for actually superior products. If the latter happens, that really could change the system. But I confess I'm not too sanguine about this happening any time soon.
post #41 of 50
   I do agree with everything that has been said.  I also acknowledge that my statement of "people get what people want" is...what, a bit understated.   I know that there are many different factors that influence our decisions...but I still think it comes down to "us" (the people).  But I'll set that aside...I can see how it can easily be argued.  

   There does seem to be a larger group of people that are changing toward purchasing quality food products.  No matter what the reasoning behind each individual, this is a good thing.  I also believe that the most important thing we can do today to change the "movement" is to feed our children quality food products. 

   Teaching our children what quality food is, will be the difference in the future.  Furthermore, I believe that teaching our children to garden will also be a key part in changing food consumption.  Even if you only plant a couple of herbs around the house you're still teaching your children that they can have control over the food they eat. 



   I wonder if we'll see sear quality chicken in the future .  I think I'll stay away from that dish.  Why am I so afraid to eat a foul bird raw?  I guess I'm just chicken!

   ,
  dan
post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post



Avocados? $3.60 apiece is expensive -- we get them here for only a little under $2 US. They used to be $0.69 each, just maybe 5-10 years ago, but they've been hiked ridiculously.

Actually, this raises another point about the industry. Whenever there's a hurricane in Florida or a drought in California, the produce prices rise. That's understandable. But the thing is, once up, the prices never come back down. People get used to paying so much for bad tomatoes, why should the supermarket charge less?

 

   Avocados can be quite expensive where I'm at too.  But it's funny, A major grocery store may have them at $2.00 to $3.00 a piece...but the Mexican grocery store near my house usually sells them for $0.50 - $1.00 a piece during these same times.

   Ethnic grocery stores can be great, no doubt!  I have several different stores that I go to for certain foods.  The advantage I get are some great tasting products.  The disadvantage?  The closer store that I go to are .5 miles - 5 miles from my house.  But some of the other ones can be 12-30 miles away.  This certainly does offset the cost savings that I may be getting by driving to a wonderful Asian market that I go to.  But, like Chris, I'm primarily doing this for the flavor.

  I'm actually heading out the door right now to drive to the Asian grocery store.  They have a HUGE selection of everything!  Produce, fish, pork, beef...on and on.  I'm going there today to get four pork belly's for some more bacon!  $1.69/lb and about 27 miles away.   Oh well...me and my 4 year old will stop to eat somewhere on the way home.  Things could be worse

   dan
 

Edited by gonefishin - 2/23/10 at 1:46pm
post #43 of 50
Same with tomatoes: good old-fashioned farm tomatoes don't keep especially well, and have to be bred to do so, at the expense of taste.

Chris, you keep saying (or at least implying) that tomatoes are bred to not have flavor. Such is not the case. There is a difference between selecting for something, and ignoring it.

Tomatoes serve as a good example, but this applies to all produce. When an F1 hybrid is developed they are selecting for characteristics that meet the demands of the food distribution system. These characteristics range from disease resistence, uniformity of size, color, and shape, ability to withstand the rigors of truck, rail, and airplane transit, etc. Since flavor is a neutral characteristic in this system, it is neither bred for or against.

Some hybrids actually do have good flavor. This is why new gardeners are often so surprised at how good their tomatoes taste. It isn't that the variety is so different (they are, in fact, often the same as the ones found in the supermarket). It's that they've never before tasted a ripe one.

Taken as a whole, of course, hybrids do lack flavor as compared to most heirlooms, specifically because with heirlooms the selection criteria was flavor. In the case of family heirlooms it was the only criterium. With commercial introductions it was the primary one.

This suggests that actually people do care about what goes into their food, at least to some degree, and that when given a choice they will seek out superior products with some regularity.

There are numerous factors at play, here, some of which we probably can't even identify. But I'd say there's a clear-cut explanation for any industry surprise about organics. Once they became fashionable (which would fit, btw, into that elite rubric), the industry was initially remiss in understanding how quickly, and how broadly, the public would buy-in to the myth of organics. Once the writing was on the wall, however, it didn't take Monsanto et als long to jump on that bandwagon.

One other thing I'd like to toss into the discussion mix. We keep blaming Walmart and Kroger for the unjustified higher prices for the organics they sell. But consider that this is an exception to the rule, and that the actual start of that price run-up lies with the farmer. Then each middleman in the chain adds a mark up. And, by the time it gets to the supermarket......

Incidentally, everything we've been discussing about organics also applies to the mass-merchandising of heirlooms. The only way to transport most heirlooms long distances, and keep them for longish periods, is to treat them the same way as any other produce. That is, pick them unripe, hold until needed, and then "force ripen" for delivery.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #44 of 50
Quote:
Same with tomatoes: good old-fashioned farm tomatoes don't keep especially well, and have to be bred to do so, at the expense of taste.

Chris, you keep saying (or at least implying) that tomatoes are bred to not have flavor. Such is not the case. There is a difference between selecting for something, and ignoring it.
The point about ripening is well-taken, but this one is just misreading, I'm afraid. What I said, and say, is that these tomatoes have been bred to keep well -- there being, as you say, a number of characteristics that are part of this, which I'm just lumping into one. Flavor is not part of those characteristics. Therefore, one is breeding tomatoes to keep well at the expense of taste. I am not saying anyone is deliberately setting out to make tomatoes taste insipid -- that's insane. I'm saying what you are, that tomatoes have been bred to keep well, and that this result has come at the expense of taste.
post #45 of 50

No question, Chris, we're talking about the same thing.

Just to clarify, though, my point is that they are not bred at the expense of taste. Taste just doesn't enter the breeder's equation. Many F1s do, indeed, have great taste---and that comes from somebody who won't put a hybrid in the ground.

Where flavor gets compromised is in the harvesting and storing phases, not in the variety per se. Ask any backyard gardener who has grown Celebrity, for instance. It's a good tomato. Not a great tomato, but a good one, with a flavor profile that appeals to modern tastes (i.e., a relatively high brix number). You wouldn't know that, however, from buying them in the supermarket---where they are one of the most common varieties sold.

What appeals to factory farmers, about Celebrity, is that it epitomizes the smooth, round, red syndrome. If it had no flavor at all, they would still grow it for the same reason.

Don't get me wrong. The vast majority of F1 tomatoes don't have much, if any flavor. But given the nature of the food distribution system, it doesn't really matter.

Be that as it may, this has taken us pretty far from our muttens, and maybe we should return to discussing fowl.
 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post


Chris, you keep saying (or at least implying) that tomatoes are bred to not have flavor. Such is not the case. There is a difference between selecting for something, and ignoring it.

Tomatoes serve as a good example, but this applies to all produce. When an F1 hybrid is developed they are selecting for characteristics that meet the demands of the food distribution system. These characteristics range from disease resistence, uniformity of size, color, and shape, ability to withstand the rigors of truck, rail, and airplane transit, etc. Since flavor is a neutral characteristic in this system, it is neither bred for or against.



 


     To bring this discussion back to that foul fowl we were talking about...

    I believe that KYh's (above) statement applies as much to poultry as it does to produce.    

   dan
post #47 of 50
from disease resistence,.....

I dunno, Dan. If we can believe everything we hear from the chicken police, they ain't done such a good job with this one.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #48 of 50
should not be eating an apple when cutting chicken in the first place.
post #49 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

from disease resistence,.....

I dunno, Dan. If we can believe everything we hear from the chicken police, they ain't done such a good job with this one.

   I was thinking more the manipulation of color, shape, size, texture done by breeding techniques, choice of feed, castration, etc.  many times it seems animals are bred/raised to make them more...

         ...desirable to look at with uniform color, lighter color, larger breast, larger leg, faster growth, younger age...etc. etc.  Of course some methods of manipulation are better than others...but flavor doesn't seem to be the major influence in any of the techniques.

    Flavor doesn't seem to get much consideration in the many years that has led us to "today's chicken", much like the devolution of produce.  


     dan
post #50 of 50
The chicken you are eating was an egg 2 months earlier. There is no disesase that could be found in that short time even if they start, the wide use of antibiotics (banned here in Europe) makes things worse as now the infections are from antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Your chicken has never seen the sunlight, never walked striaght for more than 3 feet. Walked on its popo for all his short life.
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