Flavr-Savr – The Tomato With No Taste
A Timeline for GMO’s
1987 – The first field tests of genetically engineered crops, tobacco and tomato crops, are conducted in the United States.
1992 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture approves the “Flavr Savr” tomato strain, intended to be resistant to softening and consequent rotting. This was the first genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption.
1994 – The Flavr Savr tomato was brought to market, this tomato created a small sensation, a tomato designed to withstand the rigors of shipping, one that would last in your kitchen for weeks, in other words, a frankenfood! Frankenfood, most have not heard this word, but it is the new “buzz” word of the day, meaning a genetically engineered food.
1996 – First GMO soybeans are planted in US
1997 – Flavr Savr tomatoes are taken off the US food market.
Europe requirement for labeling of ingredients is outlined.
1998 – Monsanto introduces Roundup-ready corn and canola (rapeseed) oil.
1999 – Europe leads big food manufacturers to commit to removing all GM ingredients in EU food products. Major food chains in England announce their intention to avoid all GM ingredients.
The story goes on and on. This just gives you the idea of the progression of GMO foods. Many European countries will not allow the import of US GMO products.
Speaking about tomatoes, if you mention that tomatoes don’t taste like they used to, people will agree with you that they have no taste. Tomatoes at the supermarket look just like tomatoes – red, firm, and juicy, and some even have little pieces of vine attached, the only thing is, they don’t have the delicious tomato flavor. The most popular home grown plant is the the tomato. Every backyard gardener will have at least one tomato plant. We all want that delicious taste we remember as a kid.
Well in steps the University of Florida (Go Gators!). By a process of breeding and crossbreeding, they are putting the flavor and sweetness back into our tomatoes. Not by messing with the DNA, but by painstakingly breeding and cross-pollinating thousands of different varieties. This has taken years. They have come up with a tomato they call Tasti-Lee. They are a naturally developed vine ripened tomato high in Lycopene and are non-GMO! Look for them at Whole Foods and Publix.
Next week I will be discussing why we should be concerned with GMO foods and will go into the foods to avoid. Stay tuned!
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P.S. I just got back from Publix and I did buy the “tasti-lee” tomatoes. They are a lot tastier than the tomatoes I had bought last week.