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Living Lightly column

Tasteless Produce

By Roger Findlay, Gerogery

We are fortunate living in a country with so much variety of foodstuffs in the Supermarkets but we are unfortunate in being presented a tasteless product.

When did you last see a bug, blemish or soil on fruit and vegetables in the Supermarket?

Unless you grow your own or you shop at a Farmer’s Market or similar you will never witness the real thing.

A small bunch of uniform sized asparagus secured by an elastic band suits most people. It’s presented attractively and conveniently but it’s totally tasteless.

Apples, nicely polished or waxed, look great but have you ever seen one that’s twice the size of the others? Do you take the chance of biting into one without washing it?

Stone fruit, cold stored to extend the shelf life, is nothing like the warm peach that I ate straight off the tree.

I talk to people that grow their own tomatoes and every one of them agrees that shop tomatoes are tasteless. Some say that they would rather buy tinned tomatoes than the hard, pale red ones on offer. Even the truss tomatoes look artificial because of their consistency in appearance and when I see this I know that they’ll be tasteless.

What about milk? Like many from the older generations I have been fortunate to drink warm milk freshly extracted from a cow. It was many years ago but the experience has lingered in my memory; the milk was cream in colour and dense. Because of stringent health regulations “real milk” is rarely seen on the shelves and the closest you will get is an acceptable non-homogenised version that I would recommend. It will have cream on the top but it has been pasteurised and is far better than the diluted, discount priced white liquid.

Commercially raised chickens and pigs are grown so quickly that they miss out on acquiring taste. Beef cuts are presented in styrene trays all nice and pink to attract the conditioned eye that squirms at the sight of blood but much of the taste has been drained.

If you want tasty produce grow your own (or befriend someone that does), shop at a Farmers Market and find a reputable butcher who can tell you the origin the meat they are selling. Enjoy!