Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

questions about farmers' market vs. grocery store fruit and vegetables

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by oxide View Post
    In the Washington DC area, markets distingush between regular farmer's markets and "producer's markets." At a producer's market, you can only sell what you grow yourself. If it doesn't say "producer," then the all rules are off, and the vendor may have purchased the stuff at a produce auction. Check the website for your farmer's market; they are usually run by the county government. Or look on localharvest.org. They should tell you if it's a producer's market.

    Blackberries and strawberries are very touchy anyway. Some varieties are sweeter than others. Blackberries can be notoriously sour.
    I found the particular farmer's market on localharvest.org, but didn't see any official mention of it being a "producer's market". The description does seem to imply it, however.

    And was this recently? Good gosh, it's been 94 F in Austin the past week. Berries are going to spoil very quickly no matter how good they are/were.
    Yes, this was only a couple weekends ago.

    Comment


    • #17
      One other thing I noticed: the strawberries at the farmer's market were much smaller than the ones I typically buy at the grocery store. While I would never have equated the size of the strawberries with the quality, it was something interesting that I noticed. I've seen giant packaged strawberries at the grocery store that were nearly 3" long. Do the industrial berry farms have access to superior seeds that produce strawberries that large? Is it some special technique they use? Or did the local farmer just deliberately choose to grow smaller strawberries?

      Comment


      • #18
        I would imagine its more likely that the commercial farms have a size requirement for the strawberries that will be packaged for sale in stores. Smaller ones might be frozen or used for some other process.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Special K View Post
          One other thing I noticed: the strawberries at the farmer's market were much smaller than the ones I typically buy at the grocery store. While I would never have equated the size of the strawberries with the quality, it was something interesting that I noticed. I've seen giant packaged strawberries at the grocery store that were nearly 3" long. Do the industrial berry farms have access to superior seeds that produce strawberries that large? Is it some special technique they use? Or did the local farmer just deliberately choose to grow smaller strawberries?
          Frankenfruit. Hybridized varieties that are grown for their large size, sturdy flesh, resistance to decay. Perfectly clean, because they're grown hydroponically. And with ZERO flavor.

          Strawberries are a big crop here, but local berries are smaller and uglier than Frankenberries. And usually dirty from the soil they're grown in. But sooo sweet and juicy. Flavor overload. You have to refrigerate them right away, and use or preserve them within a couple of days or they turn to mush.
          Sandra
          *My obligatory intro

          There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

          DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

          Comment


          • #20
            Another thing to point out is that most fruit and vegetables aren't really meant to last a particularly long time after they've been picked - unless, of course, they have a natural 'wrapping' like apples or potatoes. So soft fruit is always going to need to be eaten sooner than something like carrots, for example.

            Big-box grocery stores have figured out how to preserve the illusion of freshness so well that most people think produce - lettuce, for example - last much longer than they usually do.

            And I'm sure the organic stuff in stores has undergone a similar treatment to conventionally grown produce in terms of how it's been treated after it's been picked. How else could a supermarket expect it to have a large enough window to be able to sell it in?

            I may be completely wrong on that point, though, if anyone knows more about that?

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Special K View Post
              One other thing I noticed: the strawberries at the farmer's market were much smaller than the ones I typically buy at the grocery store. While I would never have equated the size of the strawberries with the quality, it was something interesting that I noticed. I've seen giant packaged strawberries at the grocery store that were nearly 3" long. Do the industrial berry farms have access to superior seeds that produce strawberries that large? Is it some special technique they use? Or did the local farmer just deliberately choose to grow smaller strawberries?
              My parents were both botanists and we used to pick wild strawberries during their plant sample-collecting expeditions that were TINY and more like the size of giant grapes or raspberries. They weren't super sweet either despite the fact that we only picked the ripest ones.

              I think the giant strawberries are just bred artificially to have much higher sugar content, larger size, and also perhaps less nutrition? Perhaps the local farmer is growing a species that is closer to the wild strawberry type and the commercial producer is growing a species that is much more human-bred.

              Keep in mind that much of what you're used to in the stores is not really how the wild counterpart looks/tastes at all... cucumbers are usually super spikey (Chinese cucumbers are still somewhat spikey), bananas are supposed to have seeds, almonds are normally poisonous, and berries are naturally more tart and much smaller.
              ------
              HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

              My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


              Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

              " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by turquoisepassion View Post
                ... bananas are supposed to have seeds...
                Wow, that blew my mind. I never imagined the bananas I have known for 37 years aren't nature's version.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Yeh, they're short, thick things in the wild.

                  Speaking of mushy berries, I'll admit I like most overripe fruit. Back when I ate apples often, I used to intentionally bruise them (press down hard on table and roll them around a lot) and let them be a while. Squishy raspberries. Yum. Ferment-y.

                  M.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I recall picking wild strawberries that were the size of my fingernail.

                    The strawberries you can buy that are the size of apples have been bred for appearance, because for most shoppers, bigger is better. They aren't horrible and tasteless, at least not most of the time. But they are nowhere near what they could be.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Here in the police state, a shocking amount of what you'll find at farmers markets and roadside stands are not actually grown by local farmers at all, but are purchased from the same suppliers the supermarkets get 'em from. That's a fact.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        y'all need to move to the rural south. you can keep a cow in the backyard just for fun if you wanted.
                        beautiful
                        yeah you are

                        Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
                        lol

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by turquoisepassion View Post
                          My parents were both botanists and we used to pick wild strawberries during their plant sample-collecting expeditions that were TINY and more like the size of giant grapes or raspberries. They weren't super sweet either despite the fact that we only picked the ripest ones.

                          I think the giant strawberries are just bred artificially to have much higher sugar content, larger size, and also perhaps less nutrition? Perhaps the local farmer is growing a species that is closer to the wild strawberry type and the commercial producer is growing a species that is much more human-bred.

                          Keep in mind that much of what you're used to in the stores is not really how the wild counterpart looks/tastes at all... cucumbers are usually super spikey (Chinese cucumbers are still somewhat spikey), bananas are supposed to have seeds, almonds are normally poisonous, and berries are naturally more tart and much smaller.
                          Is that just selective breeding, or some sort of direct genetic manipulation? Your examples remind me of what I read in Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which talks about how wild fruit can differ considerably from the versions we grow and raise on farms. In the book, the author claims this is just due to selective breeding.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by sqidmark View Post
                            Here in the police state, a shocking amount of what you'll find at farmers markets and roadside stands are not actually grown by local farmers at all, but are purchased from the same suppliers the supermarkets get 'em from. That's a fact.
                            Here most of the produce available at farmers' markets during the short growing season costs about double what the same vegetables cost in the supermarket. I guess it has to do with economies of scale and the fact that this area is less well suited for farming. I have always assumed that in many places where people claim that produce is available dirt cheap at farmers markets, much of it is last-minute sourced from suppliers, like my local Asian market does. They get stuff that is in lots too small for large stores to bother with and too ripe to sit on a shelf for a week.

                            The process is not evil. But if farmers were saying they grew it themselves, it would be deceptive.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Special K View Post
                              Is that just selective breeding, or some sort of direct genetic manipulation? Your examples remind me of what I read in Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which talks about how wild fruit can differ considerably from the versions we grow and raise on farms. In the book, the author claims this is just due to selective breeding.
                              I believe it's mostly selective breeding for most of the stuff I've mentioned. I wouldn't call it "just selective breeding" because that IS in essence changing the genetic makeup of the plant species, just through a longer, more laborious process rather than snipping genes and inserting them in the laboratory. The end result is more or less the same: altered species with different genetic makeup.

                              I guess in my mind selective breeding and genetic manipulation is kind of the same; when I did antibody engineering for research it was selective breeding but the end result was altered genetic material.
                              ------
                              HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

                              My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


                              Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

                              " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X