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Top 5 Shocking Things You Never Knew about Your Food
Some of us know a lot about computers, still others may know quite a bit about cars, and others are experts at electronics, but how many of us can say we are really knowledgeable about our food, something we must indulge in every single day? Have you ever gone to one of those “pick it yourself” farms, where you can go pick your own veggies right out in the fields?
It’s amazing to watch people looking at plants and asking “What is this?” Food that we find in the supermarkets have been picked and cleaned to the point where they are almost unrecognizable from their natural selves.
Here are 5 interesting things about some of the foods you eat that you most likely never knew.
1. Why are supermarket tomatoes so tasteless?
If you have ever eaten a supermarket tomato and someone’s backyard tomato, you know that the ones in supermarkets have little or no flavor, but how can that be?
When supermarkets became the popular place to get produce, farmers needed to find a way to grow tomatoes that looked perfect yet held up to the shipping process, and all tomatoes shipped still needed to ripe at about the same time. A tall order for the lowly tomato.
How tomatoes taste is a complex issue due to the many compounds the many different varieties of tomatoes contain. Some compounds enhance a sweet flavor to the meat, while others give the tomato more of a sour bite, but one compound, GLK, stands out. This protein causes tomatoes to turn a lighter green near the bottom, gradually darkening as it reaches the stem, and then reverses itself by turning the tomato red near the stem and moving down.
This is a natural process, however, since tomatoes that are bound for the supermarket are picked while they are still green, then “ripened” while they are being shipped by being exposed to ethylene gas, farmers realized that they needed a tomato that was a uniform green so they would, in turn, become a uniform red when exposed to the gas. So GLK has been bred out of your typical supermarket tomato.
As you can imagine, fruits and vegetables that are chemically ripened lose some of their flavor in the process but by removing this important compound, GLK, tomatoes also lost their ability to produce sugar. Yes, we now have huge, beautiful, super red tomatoes but they lack almost any trace of real flavor. Tomatoes are perhaps the original GMO. If you really want to know what a tomato should taste like, grow or buy heirloom tomatoes in season and get ready to be wowed.