Re: [gardeners] A matter of taste

George Shirley (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 15:57:06

At 03:48 PM 6/25/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Liz wrote:
>> I think that over the next 20 - 40 years there is going to be a 
>> backlash against tasteless veggies.  Producing food that can 
>> withstand the stress of shipping, machine picking, storing and 
>> processing has been a priority for good reason.  We now have many 
>> varieties with excellent productivity that meet those needs.  The 
>> next step will be to put flavor back into the equation.  Flavor is 
>> going to one day be the edge in what sells and what doesn't.
>Ok, let's look at retail merchandising: malls, department stores, etc. In 
>the past 30 years there has been a tremendous explosion in the sheer 
>variety of stuff manufactured and merchandised. I'm not sure whether the 
>consumer demanded the mind-boggling variety of choices of bicycle pants, 
>to use a wacko example, or if the consumer has been manipulated into 
>believing that it is inherently a) better b) his right c) inevitable that 
>he be faced with 50 choices at a glance. 
>We have come an awfully long way from "any color you like, as long as it's 
>black" in cars, clothes, refrigerators.....the *bric-a-brac* of late-20th 
>century living in North America and Western Europe, in particular. How odd 
>that the reverse seems to be true in the case of *food.* Since the turn of 
>the century, our choices in terms of varieties of fruits, grains, 
>vegetables, etc. has shrunk alarmingly. Less than 5% of the kinds of 
>beans that were available 80 years ago are now offered...somthing like 
>Enter the Age of Merchandising of Diversity in Foodstuffs? Are we going to 
>see 30 years of heirloom and "new hybrid" proliferation akin to the 
>industrial "model of the year" of industrial output (and software, and 
>Will what worked for deodorant and toothpaste and tennis shows work for 
>'taters and 'maters? Should it?
I don't think so. To many folks already think the only food around comes
from a supermarket. Had a couple of six year olds by the other day,
grandchildren of a neighbor. These kids have always lived in town, their
folks, and grand-folks have lived in town, Not a gardener in the bunch.
Neighbor brought them over and they were amazed at tomatoes "growing in the
wild." Opened up a crowder pea pod and gave them some raw peas to eat along
with some Yellow Pear tomatoes right off the vine. You would have thought
they had eaten something nasty from the faces they made. Don't believe
those youngun's had ever eaten fresh anything before. When they left the
momma was about decided to plant a garden next year just so the kids could
see stuff grow. Even though they had seen cows before they didn't really
associate cow = milk. I guess they thought milk came in cardboard boxes at
the grocery store and that's as far as it went. Moral - some people have
grown up eating cardboard fruit, veggies, etc and don't know things can
taste better. Most people don't go to new cuisine restaurants with
flavorful, crisp veggies, they go to McDonald's and Burger King or Taco Bell.