What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonDotCom. Show BostonDotCom's posts

    What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Are you a fan of heirloom tomatoes or do you think they are not worth the hype and the pricetag? Share your opinion!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In case you are confused: HEIRLOOM TOMATO: Heirloom Tomatoes are just what their name implies. They have been handed down, through generations of farmers and gardeners, from family member to family member. Many of these tomato varieties are known to have thrived since the 1800's. [citation from Amazon.com seller of these plants]. 

    So basically, they are just regular tomatoes. As opposed to what? Genetically-modified ones?
    Also the plants are pretty darned cheap to buy ie low pricetag. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from DottyAnn. Show DottyAnn's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Heirloom tomatoes taste like REAL tomatoes!  Too much of our food is grown with so many chemicals and additives that what we are offered for food is tasteless, drab and hard.  I buy heirloom tomatoes when I can - and I eat them all right away.  I also buy organic produce when I can because that actually ha flavor, too!  I try to avoid food from Chile and Argentina  - none of it tastes like anything.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prunella. Show prunella's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Heirloom tomatoes have a more intense taste and are jucier than hybrid tomatoes.  If you have ever grown your own tomatoes you would certainly know this!  Heirlooms are also more susceptible to disease, so it's "easier" to grow hybridized plants.  Heirlooms also have a thinner skin and they are harder to transport/ship without damaging which makes them less commercially appealing.  That is why they are more expensive to buy in a store.  They are not mass produced, sprayed to high heaven, picked green, and tumbled together like "regular" grocery store tomatoes.

    So yes, they are worth it!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from bfcohen. Show bfcohen's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    I only eat heirlooms and only local ones in season.  Yes they are more than worth it.  Same goes for peaches.  I haven't found a supermarket peach that tastes like anything except mush in years.  There is something to be said for going seasonal in your eating.  Reminds you of the yearly cycle and you enjoy the best taste of the different varieties of produce as the seasons change.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    I've been enjoying the produce from our local farmer's market and remarked on a different thread that I'd forgotten how good a garden tomato can taste!  It was warm from sitting in the crate under the canopy, and closing my eyes I could see myself having just picked it off the vine, giving it a swipe on my apron, and then biting into it, letting juice dribble down my chin!  That's an OLD memory of vacationing at a Maine farm and being allowed out into the field to help myself!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from madriver1. Show madriver1's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Heirloom tomatoes have a lot of taste.  That can't be said about most of the hybrids on the market today, so if taste is important, the price is worth it.

    Also, I like to support the local farms that grow them.  Far too many of our farms have been developed over the years, and I miss them.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from vcarlson68. Show vcarlson68's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Why would anyone write an article challenging the worth of a fresh, additive-free tomato?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from nobbielab. Show nobbielab's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Its the taste people. The hybrids of today taste like cardboard. Also if you buy the heirlooms locally you are supporting local farmer and farm stands.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Heirloom tomatoes are just tomatoes, that taste better b/c they got the chance to grow and ripen on the wine in the sun. If you grow your own tomatoes or get them from a local farm stand, you can be sure you are getting heirloom tomatoes. To buy an heirloom tomato in the supermarket, is just buying a tasteless tomato with a fancy name and a higher price IMO. I don't believe they are treating them any different than their "regular" tomatoes - picked green, so they can survive transportation w/o getting mushy and rot.
    Can't wait to bite into my first sun ripened tomato - that is, if the deer do not get to them first. - Pingo
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    I think they are worth the price for not being genetically modified and for their superior taste and texture. Also, having just gotten into canning, I found out that gmo tomatoes are of a lower acidity, hence some of the flavor and texture differences, so the USDA guidelines require adding citric acid or bottled lemon juice to tomato recipes so inhibit botulism toxin from forming in the lower acid (higher pH) "new fangled" tomatoes. We grow our own old fashioned ones to can so I don't have to worry, but if I were buying them from the store I definitively would take that into consideration. Water bath canned products need to have a pH of 4.6 or under, and heirlooms are, gmo tomatoes often are not so you shouldn't risk using an old fashioned canning recipe with gmo tomatoes if you're averse to neurotoxins. ETA: oh, yeah, another thing I learned about the gmo tomatoes in canning class is that if you use them (with the lemon juice, of course) the good thing about it is that the seeds are less hard and bitter and the skins are far thinner so many people skip the steps of blanching and icing them to remove the skins and of putting them through a food mill to remove the seeds. And, I realize most people here aren't canning, but it does go to prove there are real differences in taste and texture that matter. Genetically modified tomatoes don't taste like ours, what can I say. You cannot guarantee that a farm stand tomato is an heirloom, but it was probably at least mostly vine ripened. We don't let all our vine ripen entirely because they tend to split and allow bacteria in that way especially if it rains hard that last week before they are perfectly ripe.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ihavemyhats. Show Ihavemyhats's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Read an article yesterday that said "Buy them in season, they will be cheaper than supermarket tomatoes."  Well no, heirlooms were 5.99/lb at the farm, and stem cluster were 1.29 at the grocery store.  I compromised and bought some "pearl" tomatoes at 2.49 at the farm and some "Mass Grown" at the store for 1.49.  No matter what, if they are hard I leave them in the fruit bowl with my bananas and ripen them a bit that way.  $6.00//lb?  That's more than I pay for meat.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    One reason they are more expensive is that they are harder to get decent tomatoes to market at all. Genetically modified tomatoes weren't modified for no reason - they naturally resist pests, blights, bruising, etc. to save farmers time, effort, and money which means, obviously, that heirlooms don't naturally resist the things that cause their demise, and farmers have to work harder to get nice ones to the market and lose more of their crops to things that gmo tomatoes would have survived to be sold.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]One reason they are more expensive is that they are harder to get decent tomatoes to market at all. Genetically modified tomatoes weren't modified for no reason - they naturally resist pests, blights, bruising, etc. to save farmers time, effort, and money which means, obviously, that heirlooms don't naturally resist the things that cause their demise, and farmers have to work harder to get nice ones to the market and lose more of their crops to things that gmo tomatoes would have survived to be sold.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    Don't mix up "artificial selection" (ie man-made breeding programs to develop hardy tomatoes), with genetic modification, however. 
    According to the table here, the USA does not currently grow GM tomatoes:
    However, what might interest you is the part on PLU codes (the stickers on your fruit and veg in the supermarket):

    A 5-digit Price Look-Up code beginning with the digit 8 indicates genetically modified food 

    They say that it is voluntary, though. 
    I think we should have the choice; stuff with GM ingredients in it should be labelled as such, then we can decide if we want to buy it or not. No brainer, really. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Whatever they do to them lowers their acidity and changes the taste and texture. When we cut up our tomatoes from the garden, the whole kitchen smells like tomato. I think if anyone were blind folded with a cut up store bought tomato under his nose he wouldn't be able to identify it. So whether it's artificial selection or gmo, they are ruined for taste and texture IMO, but they always look perfect and delicious.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]Whatever they do to them lowers their acidity and changes the taste and texture. When we cut up our tomatoes from the garden, the whole kitchen smells like tomato. I think if anyone were blind folded with a cut up store bought tomato under his nose he wouldn't be able to identify it. So whether it's artificial selection or gmo, they are ruined for taste and texture IMO, but they always look perfect and delicious.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    I wonder if this is the real reason salt gets added to everything? To enhance the very weak tasting foods that are currently sold? 

    I agree about home-grown ones being much nicer. But that even includes home-grown ones grown from seeds from a store-bought one (I tried this). So the processing for transport (eg picked when not ripe, and kept under inert gas) is likely a culprit, and not the veg itself. Makes for a fun experiment. 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Maybe...you'd have to see if you could find out how much salt was added 50 years ago to canned tomatoes and other such things, on average. I'm dying for you to watch "the future of food" and report back what you think, plasko. Indulge me? By the way, if you see "plasma" my iPad corrected plasko and I didn't notice, lol.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]Maybe...you'd have to see if you could find out how much salt was added 50 years ago to canned tomatoes and other such things, on average. I'm dying for you to watch "the future of food" and report back what you think, plasko. Indulge me? By the way, if you see "plasma" my iPad corrected plasko and I didn't notice, lol.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    For you, Kar, I will. But it will have to wait till the weekend, I generaly don't watch tv. Although I think I have seen this before, but didn't want to make that statement until I had checked it out again to be completely sure. 
    I definitely saw some food documentary on Hulu, it was all about Monsanto and GM corn though, and how they force farmers to buy their product. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Oh, thank you. I've always thought highly of you even though we disagree on pretty fundamental life topics, and I push this one because I think you'll really feel enriched for having watched it, not to make any point, per se. I don't recall farmers being forced to buy gm corn in it so I think it's different...there are a number of them, but this is the one my aunt recommended, and it was worth it. She's been a chiropractor for many years, and in the last 10 started focusing heavily on nutrition. Actually, she just sold her chiropractic practice to focus 100% on her nutritionist role because she's helping so many people with issues like my husband has that medical doctors have been befuddled by. He had neuromyalgia, arthritis, and Lyme ruled out (not your general digestive upset!) and was simply suffering in the dark until she solved the mystery as evidenced by his marked improvement. He's lost 30 lbs, too, and is nearly gutless...in a good way, lol. Talk to you Monday...I hope you get as much out of it as I think you will and that it isn't the one you've seen already.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RBC-CRC. Show RBC-CRC's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    I'm glad every person to post on this has a PhD in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and/or botany.

    "Despite its popularity and important contribution to human nutrition, the commercially produced tomato is widely viewed as having poor taste, and its flavor is a major source of consumer dissatisfaction. In contrast, there is a public perception that the term “heirloom” indicates great taste. Our results indicate that this is not always the case. Some heirlooms received liking scores well below those of supermarket-purchased tomatoes (Table S2). Our results with respect to supermarket tomatoes present an interesting contrast. They were highly variable even within a single season, possibly reflecting the variation in harvest, handling, and storage among different lots." --Tieman et al 2012 quotation from Current Biology 

    (The Chemical Interactions Underlying Tomato Flavor Preferences)


    Read your literature before spouting junk about how 'this is obviously better than that because it's not heirloom or it's GM.  Just because farmers try to do what a lab can do in 1/10th the time doesn't mean it's not GM.  Every time you go out in the sun your skin cells become GM (try not to get point mutations from being outside...why do you think we shed skin cells all day and have cell repair mechanisms).

    Good grief.  Just buy what YOU like and think tastes good to YOU.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Why the USDA recommendation to add lemon juice to home canning tomatoes when it was never necessary before due to the lower acidity of GM tomatoes? A pH of 4.6 is necessary, and while you used to be able to count on it, now you'll be risking botulism if you don't account for the change. You don't need a degree in microbiology to know that a change in acidity means a change in taste and texture. Some people will notice and others won't. If you like those changes, good for you, they're cheaper, and how often do we get to buy cheaper stuff we like better or just as much as more expensive stuff? But, to say we need a degree in biology to weigh in is ridiculous; you sound as asinine and arrogant as you assert we do.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]Why the USDA recommendation to add lemon juice to home canning tomatoes when it was never necessary before due to the lower acidity of GM tomatoes? A pH of 4.6 is necessary, and while you used to be able to count on it, now you'll be risking botulism if you don't account for the change. You don't need a degree in microbiology to know that a change in acidity means a change in taste and texture. Some people will notice and others won't. If you like those changes, good for you, they're cheaper, and how often do we get to buy cheaper stuff we like better or just as much as more expensive stuff? But, to say we need a degree in biology to weigh in is ridiculous; you sound as asinine and arrogant as you assert we do.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]


    I agree. It seems like that commenter seems to be overly critical, and I thought maybe arguing with someone else who is not there. It did not seem like any of those comments were directed at us, as they were not entirely relevant to the ongoing discussion. 
    Anyhow regarding the documentary, it actually was the one I saw about Monsanto forcing farmers to pay up when crops accidentally grow on their fields (due to contamination by neighboring farms). So I only watched the first quarter again. 


     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]I'm glad every person to post on this has a PhD in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and/or botany. " Despite its popularity and important contribution to human nutrition, the commercially produced tomato is widely viewed as having poor taste, and its flavor is a major source of consumer dissatisfaction. In contrast, there is a public perception that the term “heirloom” indicates great taste. Our results indicate that this is not always the case. Some heirlooms received liking scores well below those of supermarket-purchased tomatoes ( Table S2 ). Our results with respect to supermarket tomatoes present an interesting contrast. They were highly variable even within a single season, possibly reflecting the variation in harvest, handling, and storage among different lots." --Tieman et al 2012 quotation from Current Biology  (The Chemical Interactions Underlying Tomato Flavor Preferences) Read your literature before spouting junk about how 'this is obviously better than that because it's not heirloom or it's GM.  Just because farmers try to do what a lab can do in 1/10th the time doesn't mean it's not GM.  Every time you go out in the sun your skin cells become GM (try not to get point mutations from being outside...why do you think we shed skin cells all day and have cell repair mechanisms). Good grief.  Just buy what YOU like and think tastes good to YOU.
    Posted by RBC-CRC[/QUOTE]

    If you think that epigenetics, or UV-induced point-mutations, or artificial-selection constitutes the term "genetically-modified" then think again. That term, as applied to food, is pretty clear as you well know if you have a PhD in molecular biology. 

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    Plasko, thanks for checking out the video, sorry it was the same one. I didn't think it was because you were surprised at my husband's severe physical response to GM food. the part about the problems many people are having with it (unusual-sounding and unpredicted physical reactions) was closer to the end. He's unfortunately not alone. The physical reactions people are having to GM food obviously struck a chord with me so that's what I remember most about the video. Funny how we categorize and store information we are presented with based on our experiences.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?

    In Response to Re: What's your take on heirloom tomatoes?:
    [QUOTE]Plasko, thanks for checking out the video, sorry it was the same one. I didn't think it was because you were surprised at my husband's severe physical response to GM food. the part about the problems many people are having with it (unusual-sounding and unpredicted physical reactions) was closer to the end. He's unfortunately not alone. The physical reactions people are having to GM food obviously struck a chord with me so that's what I remember most about the video. Funny how we categorize and store information we are presented with based on our experiences.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    It is hypothetically possible that new genes expressing novel proteins can act as allergens. However, most genetically modified foods are different in one way or another eg GM soy might express new protein A, while GM wheat will express new protein B. So it would be impossible for a person to be allergic to all GM foods, whilst possibly developing an allergy to a single one. 
    The only natural analogy I can think of is that some people are allergic to peanuts, some to almonds. But nobody is allergic to every type of nut out there. 
    So I would suggest you observe what types of GM food were having this effect on hubby, to narrow down a possible allergen protein. 
    Also, the symptoms you mentioned sound like an interesting reaction for sure, but are the first time I have heard them in terms on allergy (an immune response). But you have to be a real allergy specialist to know this stuff, and train for years in this area alone so most things will be beyond my own limited domain of knowledge. 
    An alternative I considered was that he might be having a reaction to the pesticides used on GM foods. Since they are bred to be resistant to pesticide X (eg roundup), they use a larger amount of X to spray with. So when the crops are harvested there will be higher pesticide contamination in those crops. So it is possible that he is having a reaction to the chemicals used in GM growing, rather than an actual allergic reaction to the GM foodstuffs themselves. 

     

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