24th February 2013
Thanks to decades of breeding, the modern agricultural tomato has a lot of properties that are great for farmers: the plants are incredibly productive, and the resulting tomatoes hold up well to shipping. Just one small problem: they are nearly tasteless. Heirloom tomato strains have become available precisely because people aren’t especially interested in the mass-produced, modern tomato.
In the words of a panel at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of science, we “broke” the tomato by allowing the plant breeders to respond to the needs of farmers, instead of the tomato’s end-users: consumers.
Gee, Congress does the same thing. Unfortunately, voters don’t have any panel of scientists to stick up for them.