Hungry for a tomato? Tough.

December 21, 2004 at 6:18pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Florida’s tomato Nazis (aka the Florida Tomato Committee, a New Deal relic charged with ensuring tomato quality, because consumers are apparently too stupid to do that on their own) have decided that you shouldn’t be able to have plentiful fresh tomatoes this winter. You’ll just have to stick with the same old bland tomatoes you get every year?

Why’s that?

Because the Florida Tomato Committee decided that the UglyRipe variety of tomato, despite its tastiness, is just too darn ugly to ship out of state. I bet you didn’t know there was a government body that decided whether or not a tomato looks good enough for you to eat.

Does it bother anybody else that taxpayer bucks are being used to fund this kind of tasteless (sorry) regulation? It bothers the heck out of me. Why should I care if somebody wants to buy ugly tomatoes, so long as they meet standard food safety guidelines? I happen to care a lot about the appearance of my food—I won’t eat a banana that’s anything but bright yellow, for example—but why is it the government’s business to apply anal-retentive appearance standards, that have nothing to do with food quality, to my food? Appearance standards are for the free market to determine, aren’t they?

I’ll bet by now you’re thinking that the UglyRipe must be hideously ugly. It’s not. It’s a little lumpy, sure, but I wouldn’t call it ugly. Heck, being a bit short in the produce intelligence department I probably wouldn’t even notice anything different about them if I saw them in the grocery store.

Yet another example of petty government excess blocking consumers from having a wide variety of choices. ::


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Mr. T December 22, 2004 at 5:21pm

I agree….not bad looking at all…just different from consumer expectations. Unfortunately, this action has basically stifled the prospect for a national market to grow (or even have a chance). Lets bring the hammer down on this tomato group!

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