Thursday, June 19, 2008

You say salmonella

And I say tomato? Half a dozen people here in NYC with salmonella poisoning, hundreds around the country, and the tomato is to blame. But it’s not really the tomato, it’s the “tomato,” a product manufactured by the agribusiness petrochemical industrial complex.

I haven’t had a fresh tomato since, what, last September? Because there haven’t been any fresh tomatoes since then. I don’t buy them out of season unless they are frozen or canned. Why bother? I don’t like to eat tasteless cardboard, no matter how red it is.

Consider strawberries. They seem to be available most of the year now, too, but what is that’s being sold? Gargantuan, hollow, white-centered things, all texture, no taste. This stuff is designed for transportation and time-to-market viability. Most ripe fruit is too fragile to travel far. Juicy fragility being of course the point of ripeness. But unripe, or gas-ripened, fruit is the norm in the supermarket, a seeming cornucopia that has resulted in most Americans no longer knowing what real tomatoes, apricots, peaches, pears and so on really taste like.

We have a food industry that literally swathes its products in shit and then blames us for not cooking it until its good and dead. Since we’re returned to brutal savagery of the free market jungle, the only way to stop it is to stop buying the shit.

We are entering the season. The farmer’s markets already have strawberries, rhubarb, blueberries, & sweet cherries, with apricots and peaches coming soon. And then there are the rarer things, sour cherries, currents, ground cherries…

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