Friday, April 30, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Un-greening Our Tomatoes!

I'm so disappointed. Just as I was starting to learn about how good local, organic produce is for our planet, I heard that the U.S. Senate is about to put all of those small farmers out of business. As I understand it, big agribusinesses have gotten jealous of the success of farmer's markets and small, local producers, and are demanding that all of those sustainable farms be forced to buy the same produce-bagging and shrink-wrapping machinery that helps larger producers stay at the forefront of producing new strains of E-coli bacteria.

Now, I'm not angry about this, because it's probably just some kind of misunderstanding. Our Senators probably aren't aware of how much healthier organic produce is for us and for our environment, so it's up to fans of green living to introduce them to the joys of truly good fruits and vegetables. There's just no comparing a juicy, vine-ripened tomato at its peak to those bland pieces of styrofoam that pass for tomatoes in some stores. So the best way to help Senators understand the issue would be for some East Coast organic tomato growers to take them free samples of the ambrosial fruits of their labor. Of course, since our elected officials are busy people, it might be hard to get close enough to the Senators to hand them a fragrant slice of delicious tomato, so it's important that someone with a good throwing arm be included in the organic growers' delegation, in case the tomatoes have to be delivered all in one piece, and in a hurry.

It's true that throwing the tomatoes could get messy, especially since only the ripest, juiciest samples will do for the purposes of educating Senators. But then, they are probably also not aware of how much fun it can be to get covered in tomato juice and pulp, as many surprised tourists in Spain discover every year in the city of Buñol.

Apparently, no-one really knows how the tomato-smashing festival started, but I read that "one of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration." The councilmen must have enjoyed the experience enough to make it a yearly event. And the moral of that story is that when you mix ripe tomatoes and elected officials, wonderful things will happen!

So, how about it, green living lovers? Who wants to take some transformative tomatoes to Washington D.C.?


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