Need Safeguards for Gene-Tinkered Foods

Larry London london at
Wed Jul 14 00:05:37 EST 1993

In article <JMC.93Jul9190258 at SAIL.Stanford.EDU> jmc at cs.Stanford.EDU writes:

>Your problem with store bought tomatoes is currently being worked on
>via genetic engineering.  Tomatoes spoil rather quickly, and the American
>wholesale and retail system can't get the tomatoes into the stores fast
>enough after they are picked.  Therefore, they pick them green and
>artificially ripen them with ethylene dioxide?.  Unfortunately, they
>aren't as sweet as vine ripened tomatoes.  The solution being sought
>is to breed tomatoes with less of the enzyme that causes them to spoil
>quickly.  Then they can be picked after ripening.
>John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305

A solution would be to grow as much produce as possible, on prime
farmland existing in rural and suburban areas, and sell it to nearby markets.
This is consistent with the fertile crescent concept, the use of which has
meant that Parisians have had access to high quality, very fresh produce
and their market gardeners have been kept in the green for decades.

Much containerization, storage and shipping could be eliminated this way,
allowing the grower to concentrate on flavor, size and freshness.
Higher quality food could be purchased at more affordable prices.
Gene-tweaked varieties could be grown in certain areas for distribution
to areas where, for various reasons, the demand and pricing is adequate
to justify production of food in this manner.

Many standard and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables
have all the desirable qualities one would want for local market production.
There are many such varieties that have never been tried commercially in 
many areas of the U.S.A. For example, the Stayman Winesap would do
exceptionally well grown in Central Piedmont North Carolina. Wild plums
and wild cherries do _real_ well here, and are delicious. :-)

london at 

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