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"The marketing order has nothing to do with taste," said Skip Jonas, the committee's compliance officer. "Taste is subjective."

But beauty? Beauty's OBJECTIVE. Everyone knows that.

 

The tomatoes aren't even that ugly. See?

 

It doesn't surprise me, the pinheads in Florida who don't care about dreadful tasting tomatoes. I worked with an organic apple farmer here who told me that the single and only reason Red Delicious apples are in supermarkets is because they look like apples in picture books. Moreover, most of them are probably ten months old, since the farmers in northern states figured out that, to beat the apple harvest in the south, they could hold their apples back ten months and beat the rush that way.

 

Despicable politics.

 

The Florida Tomato Committee is a Federal Marketing Order that was established pursuant to Federal Marketing Agreement and Order No. 966, as amended, regulating the handling of tomatoes and has authority over the tomatoes grown in Florida's production area comprising the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Brevard and all counties situated south. It affects tomatoes that are shipped outside the regulated area, which includes that portion of the state of Florida situated east of the Suwanee River and south of the Georgia border. The Committee funds marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotions including advertising and other projects which improve or promote the marketing, distribution and consumption of fresh Florida tomatoes.

Confusing map:http://www.floridatomatoes.org/map.html

 

Anyone else feel like writing a letter to the Florida Tomato Council?

 

http://www.floridatomatoes.org/contactus.html

 

I feel like asking them whose tomatoes are in the picture.

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The Florida Tomato Committee is a Federal Marketing Order that was established pursuant to Federal Marketing Agreement and Order No. 966, as amended, regulating the handling of tomatoes and has authority over the tomatoes grown in Florida's production area comprising the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Brevard and all counties situated south. It affects tomatoes that are shipped outside the regulated area, which includes that portion of the state of Florida situated east of the Suwanee River and south of the Georgia border. The Committee funds marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotions including advertising and other projects which improve or promote the marketing, distribution and consumption of fresh Florida tomatoes.

Didn't Magna Carta put a stop to this sort of thing.

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but how do they taste? are they as bad as most of the tomatoes coming out of florida right now or do they taste like heirlooms?

I don't think most heirlooms have very good taste, but the UglyRipe that I got in New York (chelsea market) a couple of months ago seemed much closer to heirlooms than to standard FL tomatoes. ($4.50/lb, or some similarly insane price)

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The interesting thing is that in my Fedco Seeds catalog it says that the variety Yellow Brandywine will give ugly and nice looking fruits and that taste is positively correlated with looks.

 

from pg 58 of their catalog:

4076YO Yellow Brandywine OG (82 days) Ind. Growing Yellow

Brandywine can be maddening. When she’s good, she’s very very good, but

when she’s bad she’s awful. All strains (and there are several) develop

irregularly-shaped fruits in Maine’s extreme weather fluctuations. Compost

the weird-looking fruits; enjoy the good ones! There is a close correlation

here between looks and eating quality; the good ones are remarkably

smooth, with a creamy texture and rich complex tangy flavor that makes you

want more. Large slightly ribbed 1 lb. fruits with an identifiable ring scar at

the blossom end. Not the highest yielding. Potato-leaf foliage. In the running

for best golden tomato, but by no means a shoo-in. Maintained by 16 seed

savers. MOFGA-certified.

 

So in this case, better looking means better tasting, I guess.

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We grown yellow brandywines year after year. While dark or dry spots might indicate an untasty area of the tomato, I don't buy it about misshapen fruit being less tasty.

 

Maybe it's different in Maine, though.

 

Where I live, we have often produced tomatoes ten months out of the year. (One spot under the eaves on the south side of the house keeps them frost-free and producing. The tomatoes that ripen in March and April are sweeter than any tomato I've ever had, so we oven-dry them and eat them like, well, addictive substances.)

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The Florida Tomato Committee is a Federal Marketing Order that was established pursuant to Federal Marketing Agreement and Order No. 966, as amended, regulating the handling of tomatoes and has authority over the tomatoes grown in Florida's production area comprising the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Brevard and all counties situated south. It affects tomatoes that are shipped outside the regulated area, which includes that portion of the state of Florida situated east of the Suwanee River and south of the Georgia border. The Committee funds marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotions including advertising and other projects which improve or promote the marketing, distribution and consumption of fresh Florida tomatoes.

Didn't Magna Carta put a stop to this sort of thing.

Au contraire. Under the federal marketing orders, a group of the the farmers who grow a product regulate its interstate distribution so as to maximize profit and prevent over- or under-production, thereby hoping to control wide swings in prices. In fact, I believe the company that grows the Ugly Tomato is a member of the board, as its round tomatoes account for a decent percentage of Florida production. I think the board in Florida is making a shortsighted mistake, as these tomatoes evidently command a premium price.

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We grown yellow brandywines year after year. While dark or dry spots might indicate an untasty area of the tomato, I don't buy it about misshapen fruit being less tasty.

 

Maybe it's different in Maine, though.

Yeah, I don't recall any other piece of literature mentioning this about YB, but I thought it interesting and funny because I get my catalog and then I read this thread and thought I would stick that in. Okay, back to the topic at hand...

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The Florida Tomato Committee is a Federal Marketing Order that was established pursuant to Federal Marketing Agreement and Order No. 966, as amended, regulating the handling of tomatoes and has authority over the tomatoes grown in Florida's production area comprising the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Brevard and all counties situated south. It affects tomatoes that are shipped outside the regulated area, which includes that portion of the state of Florida situated east of the Suwanee River and south of the Georgia border. The Committee funds marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotions including advertising and other projects which improve or promote the marketing, distribution and consumption of fresh Florida tomatoes.

Didn't Magna Carta put a stop to this sort of thing.

Au contraire. Under the federal marketing orders, a group of the the farmers who grow a product regulate its interstate distribution so as to maximize profit and prevent over- or under-production, thereby hoping to control wide swings in prices. In fact, I believe the company that grows the Ugly Tomato is a member of the board, as its round tomatoes account for a decent percentage of Florida production. I think the board in Florida is making a shortsighted mistake, as these tomatoes evidently command a premium price.

Agreed.

 

In many ag cooperatives, votes are apportioned based on the previous year's sales, or acreage planted. That creates an oligarchy favoring the largest members, so the little guy has to go along with the majority. If Florida tomatoes will look like perfect cosmetic specimens, but taste like cotton, so be it.

 

Milk co-ops are facing the same issue as some farmers want to advertise their milk as BHT free, etc, which makes the industrial owners, who use every chemical known to man, very uneasy. Even though the organic stuff commands premium prices.

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More on Ugly-Ripe: don't miss Consumer Letter #1.

If you like to voice your opinion to the Florida Tomato Committee here is the contact information:

 

EMAIL: info@floridatomatoes.org

 

Florida Tomato Committee

Samantha Winters

Director, Education and Promotion

samantha@floridatomatoes.org

PHONE: 407-660-1949

FAX: 407-660-1656

 

Mailing Address:

FLORIDA TOMATO COMMITTEE

800 Trafalgar Court

Suite 300

Maitland, FL 32751

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