October 5, 2012
Re "A U.S.-Mexico tomato fight is about to burst," Business, Oct. 3 The American consumer has been conned into believing that those flawless uniform red things they buy from the feuding farming industries in Mexico and Florida are tomatoes. They may look like one, but they taste like, well, nothing. Occasionally I buy one hoping this time might be different. Nope; they're the same things that have been sold for decades. No matter the price, they don't taste the way a tomato should.
March 26, 2013 |
Companion planting is based on the idea that, like people, some plants do better with good neighbors. For tomatoes, strawberries and squash, one of the most popular of companion plants is borage ( Borago officinalis ). As a seedling, borage doesn't reveal its potential. The leaves are rough and fat, and as they get older, covered in fur. Only when the sparkling lavender star-shaped flowers appear in spring-summer does borage, also known as starflower, shows its potential: Bees and pest-killing wasps love the blooms.
March 20, 2013 |
Researchers at UCLA have genetically engineered tomatoes that, when fed to mice, mimic the beneficial qualities of good cholesterol, according to a new study. In a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of Lipid Research, authors used bacteria to insert genes into the cells of tomato plants, so that they would produce a peptide that mimics the actions of HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Later generations of those genetically engineered tomatoes were frozen, ground up and then fed to female mice who were themselves bred to be highly susceptible to LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.
November 13, 2013
Re "The toil in Mexican tomatoes," Nov. 11 The United States is the land of liberty, opportunity and happiness. In complete contrast are parts of Mexico. Last year, $1-billion worth of vegetables was exported from the state of Sinaloa, including nearly half the tomatoes Americans consume. The people who pick those vegetables should live like kings, yet they live like peasants. We contribute to their destitution. They produce their most prized resource for us, and we cheat them by not ensuring that they receive proper wages.
March 28, 2013 |
Scott Daigre, organizer of Tomatomania!, expects bigger things from his annual pop-up sales, which last year sold upward of 50,000 tomato plants. He paused during Tomatomania! in Encino last week to talk about what's new this year: a growing buzz for blue tomatoes, the most novel novelties among about 140 varieties of heirlooms and rare hybrids that he sells. We asked Daigre to explain the story behind the new blues for this edited Q&A. What's with the blue tomatoes? It's just what people are talking about in tomatoes right now. It's novel, appearing more and more.
October 7, 2012
Re "A U.S.-Mexico tomato fight is about to burst," Business, Oct. 3 This article fails to address the crucial issues. Terminating the Suspension Agreement, which sets a minimum price for tomatoes from Mexico, is not intended to "boost the fortunes" of some but rather to promote fair trade. The current agreement does not account for the changing marketplace, enforcement and circumvention of the agreement, and the lack of a standard definition for greenhouse-grown produce. The agreement was put in place at a time when the market was dominated by field tomatoes.