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Wheaton yummy scale  RSS feed

 
                                      
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Ok, so everybody knows that a tomato grown in your backyard tastes far better than any tomato you will find i the grocery store, but the organic ones from the grocery store will probably taste better than the non-organic ones. It seems to me that the further up the "wheaton eco scale" you go, the yummier your food gets. Paul talks about these $4000 hams in france or wherever they are on the podcast sometimes... Is there a trend here? Do permaculture tomatoes taste even better than sustainable tomatoes, and do sustainable tomatoes taste better than organic ones?
 
John Polk
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With your example of tomatoes, a lot of that depends on variety, soil, weather, and many other factors.

All in all, tomatoes (or any other crop) grown in a balanced polyculture will have more nutrients than its monoculture cousin grown under otherwise similar conditions.

Imitations of nature can never compete with the real Mc Coy as far as nutritional value.  Taste is largely dependent on the health of the plant, which is directly related to the health of the soil.  Artificially maintained soils will consistently give you that "store bought" flavor and lessened nutrition.

If all of the minerals and other nutrients, required for optimum performance of a plant, are naturally in the soil, you will have a higher quality end product.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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John I recently had an example of what you are talking about. 

A friend who knows I am a gardening freak gave me some of thier tomatoes.  They are just getting into this and have the best of intentions.

The soil is organic store bought because they live in new construction housing.  Same with fertilizers.  No compost - no 'living' soil.

The tomatoes were very pretty, and they tasted like nothing; tasteless bland nothing.  Of course I didn't tell them that because they are excited that they have produced food at home and I am excited for them too.  Gotta start somewhere.
 
jacque greenleaf
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Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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I think a lot of tomato taste has to do with the variety, and you need to test to figure out which varieties you like. Personally, I avoid tomatoes (and corn) which are advertised as sweet. INMNSHO, sweet means insipid flavor.

So while growing methods probably can lead to more-or-less flavor, variety also is a noticeable factor, as is point of harvest and post-harvest storage. You'd need to control at least these four factors in order to say for certain that particular growing methods make a discernible difference.
 
John Polk
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Most of the hybrid tomatoes were developed for the commercial growers.  They want a "perfect" fruit (red, round, and blemish-free) that will withstand a 1500 mile truck ride, and sit for weeks before sale.  Since most consumers have forgotten what a real tomato tastes like, taste is not high on their priorities list.

If you want flavor, pick an open pollinated variety that fits your flavor profile, and intended use.  At least an open pollinated variety will allow you to save seeds from this years crop, and keep growing the same variety sustainably.

EDITED to add:
If you want to research open pollinated tomatoes, the link that follows is the most comprehensive tomato database in the world.  She lists and describes thousands of varieties, and provides links to vendors of almost all of them.  Each listed variety has photos as well.  Tatiana has devoted years to this project, and has personally grown most of the varieties.
http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Main_Page

 
Brenda Groth
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any food that you grow yourself will taste better than the same food from a store, as it is fresher..unless it is a food that doesn't grow well in your area..I do admit that a washington apple is a good apple and I don't live in Washington
 
Suzy Bean
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Paul and Jocelyn review the movie, Ingredients in this podcast podcast 119
 
Cam Mitchell
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Location: W. CO, 6A
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I have bought or will buy seeds from High Mowing Seeds in VT, and Victory Seeds in Oregon. Their tomato selections are amazing. Pink, white, yellow, orange, striped, green, brown, black, purple and almost any color in between. They have old and new world varieties, lots of stuff I've never heard of. Also, you might want to look at Seed Savers Exchange or Native Seeds (I think that's what it's called).
 
Brenda Groth
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I'll agree that homegrown permie organic produce or local farm grown from a real local farmer's market, does taste much better than store bought, but our grocery store does carry a lot of organic produce which is helpful in the wintertime whenm things are slim (like right now) around here..and some of it is pretty decent tasting. I am a bit bummed that most of our organic produce does come from California though and I live in Michigan, seems that some East cost or Southern gardens should get into the organic produce business so all the organic stuff in local stores doesn't have to ocme from California..however..I'm very grateful for companies like Earthbound farms..when I run out of things growing here in the winter.
 
Daniel Morse
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Yummy Scale? I have to meet Paul someday. Anyway. I agree. The organic tomatoes are way better. The tomatoes I canned from the large field down the street, where it is average Agra the tomatoes tasted ok. The same variety from my garden and my buddies plot, both permaculture type, were much better flavor. Even after canning they had better flavor, color and taste. PERIOD!

Its all about the love you give the land.

When I lived in Palm Springs, CA. I had the pleasure to talk to a person who had cooked for the late and great Frank Sinatra. Frank always said there was not a decent tomato in all of Southern California. I had to agree. The ones from the store were like wood. Even the organic ones I found to be leathery and somewhat tasteless. I also think its all about climate. Like Oranges. Oranges do not do well in Michigan. Lol. But Florida and California they kick butt.
 
John Polk
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Oddly enough, it is difficult to find a California tomato in California.

It started about 30 years ago when the wholesale brokers realized they could ship all of them to the upper midwest where they brought premium prices. For the local market (that was used to cheap tomatoes), they could ship in Mexican tomatoes. That way, they realized two markets with a single crop.

 
Daniel Morse
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John, you are so correct. The big stores here have fleets of trucks that only haul produce to here from California. You CAN NOT import into California from here. Season or not. Hell, you can't sell to China either, but they flood us with the poison all the time. As the witch said "what a world, what a world!"
 
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