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Thread: questions about farmers' market vs. grocery store fruit and vegetables page 3

  1. #21
    turquoisepassion's Avatar
    turquoisepassion is offline Senior Member
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    Quote 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.
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  2. #22
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    Quote 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.

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    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.

  4. #24
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    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.

  5. #25
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    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.

  6. #26
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    y'all need to move to the rural south. you can keep a cow in the backyard just for fun if you wanted.
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    yeah you are

    I mean there's so many ants in my eyes! And there are so many TVs, microwaves, radios... I think, I can't, I'm not 100% sure what we have here in stock.. I don't know because I can't see anything! Our prices, I hope, aren't too low!

  7. #27
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    Quote 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.

  8. #28
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    Quote 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.

  9. #29
    turquoisepassion's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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    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

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