Agricultural Science and Engineering Debated - Food Matters August 2015

What happened to the Tomato:

Half of the tomatoes consumed in the US are imported, mostly from Mexico,and California and Florida account for two thirds of US production. At least in part if not entirely, the pioneering work that started in the 1950's by the University of California at Davis undertaken to increase productivity in tomato farming and harvesting can be blamed for the deterioration in the fruit's quality. For the first time, tomatoes hybrids were developed for production with its flavor eliminated as a criteria. America turns to its home gardens to recapture the lost sweet juicy flavors.

Article: From Ketchup to California Cuisine: How the Mechanical Tomato Harvester Prompted Todays Food Movement; Ildi Carlisle-Cummins; Civil Eats, July 15, 2015

Will Corn Take over the World?:

Before 1930, a farmer could produce 30 bushels of corn per acre working 25 hours. Today,a farmer can produce 170 bushels working only 3 hours on that same acre.The nature of corn provides nearly limitless opportunities to develop hybrids, techniques, and pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to further increase yields with no end in site. Overproduction, the author states, brings the same problems facing industrialization: labor exploitation, economic inequality, extraction, pollution, overconsumption and the inertia that flows from needing to preserve and protect investment in infrastructure. This is an interesting debate at the center of issues swirling around farm industrialization. 

Article: We've Got More Than Enough Corn, Ricardo Salvador, Union of Concerned Scientists - The Equation, July 8,2015

Marketing or Fact. Superfoods become Big Business:

In 1998, 17 Million pounds of blueberries were produced - that is now over 90 million pounds trending to 150 million pounds over the next 5 years. Has there been the same 5 fold improvement in health due to our consumption of the little miracle berry? A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a clear health benefit, but the claims at certain superfoods will cure cancer and other ailments alone seem overstated. But creating and marketing the myth of a superfood can be fabulously financially rewarding - but that's not a bad thing, is it?

Article:Are "Superfoods" Over?: Leilani Clark, Civil Eats, July 23, 2015

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