Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bigger Isn't Better: Why Gigantic Produce is a Terrible Value

My girlfriend noticed these giant tomatoes the size of cantaloupes at Harris Teeter the other day. It's a produce-wide trend - softball-sized avocados, strawberries that are no longer bite-sized, apples that are more of a meal than a snack.

Many people look at giant portions and see a bargain, but abnormally large fruits and vegetables are a terrible value. Especially since many fruits and vegetables are sold by weight, you're paying an inflated price for watered-down taste and nutrition:
  • Plants give about the same amount of nutrition to each fruit or vegetable no matter its size, so supersizing just dilutes it
  • By breeding for size over nutrition & taste, there's evidence conventional produce nutrition & taste has genetically declined over time
  • Fruits and vegetables need time to soak up the sun & develop flavor, but they can be robbed of that by artificially accelerated growing processes
Why would anyone buy these monsters? Even if you don't want to spend a little more on the foods that are worth buying organic, I don't understand the appeal of the wide range of imitation food products, from tasteless tomatoes to process cheese loaves to corn-based pancake syrup. Why not buy real food?
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