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[Ars] We broke the tomato, and we’re using science to fix it - Page 6

post #51 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarin View Post

I have no problem with people having an egg brand preference just like I have no problem with people swearing angus certified beef tastes better. Eat what you like.

The only real "additive" added to a layer's diet is powdered limestone (or calcium powder). Much of the art in feeding laying hens comes down to finding ways of maintaining high levels of kcals in their diet when their nutritional requirement for calcium and phosphorus is so high. Plunking some MFA layer feed for your backyard hens might get them by, but in the agriculture industry it is about maximization of production. To that end, all animals have their nutrient intake monitored closely along with their body condition. If a hen does not get the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus she can lay brittle, porous or shell less eggs (which happens more than you think in someone backyard flock). It is also the case that first or second parity layers can have some shell quality issues. However, there is not some magic powder or chemical that is put into layer diet that causes shells to magically thicken. It is just simple nutritive biochemistry.

People like to believe our food supply is just riddled with chemicals and enhancers, but this just simply not the case.

lol! I have seen the brittle eggs. Quite fun to mess with people using them.

No I didn't think it was a chemical. Man messing with the quality of food like he has been doing forever. Not that it is bad either. Eggs with harder shells tend to survive the trip to market better than those with thin shells.

Similar things with tomatoes. The best tomatoes you can buy in the supermarket are usually the canned ones They take the ripest ones for canning since they would be rotten by the time they made it to the distributor. Unless of course you are getting them right from the vine or farmers market. Tomatoes (and most vegetables) found in the market are picked before they are ripe so they make it to your table looking fresh.

All this talk of tomatoes and eggs has me thinking 2 things:
  1. It's bee too long since I spoke with my cousin.
  2. What's for dinner!?!?
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post #52 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

Yeah. The whole "Frankenfood" movement is so hilariously miss guided. "OMG you are what you eat. How can you put that suff in your body" as if the genes could jump ship and mutate you too lachen.gif

Well.....it's possible I bet through some really complicated method. But the question is what economic benefit would that give anyone especially if they didn't have absolute control on the outcome? In other words...not really a strong motivation to do it besides as a science project.
     
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post #53 of 111
EDIT: Sorry...thought there was a post in between. redface.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by airbozo View Post

For my cousin's family, their "green" movement started when substantial traces of chemicals used in the production of their vegetables started showing up in the ground water they drink, and use on the farm. Some of their and their neighbors livestock started having health related issues due to those chemicals. All of the farmers and ranchers in the south eastern part of Colorado have cut back on their use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers and at least some of them are pursuing a more "green" approach of using natural fertilizers and pest control. This happened a long time before it was the PC thing to do. For them it was financially motivated. They were looking at losing their entire ranch and part of their farms. Farms that have been in their family since before there was a Colorado. lol!

(and it didn't sound condescending to me)

Interesting...I remember reading that a lot of farmers weren't even always aware of the chemicals they used being either outdated or banned over the time they used them. Another thing was that some apparently used expired or improperly handled ones and that added or created new problems. There's not just the chemicals but the care about them that makes them dangerous(the article was in depth into why farms have become corporations as to the costs and liabilities they have to deal with). To me if someone wants to go "green" they should be able to. My only moment of fear is if that ever became the norm...whether that is actually sustainable even for the US and Europe mostly declining non-recent immigrant populations. People forget that not too long ago and even in most of the world right now...it's not worrying about a side-effect that may strike 1 in 1000...it's worry about eating to live to tomorrow.

I hope those farmers haven't had any more problems. Even if I'm against the subsidies...the fact they want to go out and try and produce and contribute is more than I can say about most of us city folk consumers.
Edited by Rookie1337 - 2/19/13 at 3:43pm
     
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post #54 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Well.....it's possible I bet through some really complicated method. But the question is what economic benefit would that give anyone especially if they didn't have absolute control on the outcome? In other words...not really a strong motivation to do it besides as a science project.

It can't. Protein is protein genetically engineered or not. The economic benefit comes in many forms. What if for example you could make corn grow in areas that are 10 or 20 degrees cooler. That would mean it can now be grown in parts of the world where it could not. Growth speed, size, pest resistance, taste, the list goes on and on. Even if they didn't have absolute control over the outcome there is still many benefits to be had. If there wasn't people would not have done old school gene manipulation through breeding.
    
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post #55 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Well.....it's possible I bet through some really complicated method. But the question is what economic benefit would that give anyone especially if they didn't have absolute control on the outcome? In other words...not really a strong motivation to do it besides as a science project.

As a biochemist I will say that you can have genes from what you eat enter your cells and integrate with them. However, the odds of it happening in the field are so low as to be non-existant, and most likely they will do nothing, or give you cancer, not turn you into a super mutant.


This is actually one of the major ways bacteria evolve, by horizontal gene transference.
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post #56 of 111
Hope I'm not being too involved in this thread...redface.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen00 View Post

As a biochemist I will say that you can have genes from what you eat enter your cells and integrate with them. However, the odds of it happening in the field are so low as to be non-existant, and most likely they will do nothing, or give you cancer, not turn you into a super mutant.


This is actually one of the major ways bacteria evolve, by horizontal gene transference.

Darn I wanted to be tomato man. biggrin.gif I think you got what I was saying; it could happen but likely wouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

It can't. Protein is protein genetically engineered or not. The economic benefit comes in many forms. What if for example you could make corn grow in areas that are 10 or 20 degrees cooler. That would mean it can now be grown in parts of the world where it could not. Growth speed, size, pest resistance, taste, the list goes on and on. Even if they didn't have absolute control over the outcome there is still many benefits to be had. If there wasn't people would not have done old school gene manipulation through breeding.

I think I failed....I'm talking about the food mutating the person/animal eating them. Maybe I didn't make that clear. redface.gif I understand the reasons for wanting to manipulate the food.
     
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post #57 of 111
The chickens on my farm get fed their own eggshells to replace some of the resources they use growing them. We cook the shells a little, grind them up with a rolling pin, an mix it in with their food. They'll eat pretty much anything we will, and get our choice table scraps in with the shells.

Tomatoes have been bred to all mature at the same time, to have a thick skin so they won't bruise or split while on the back of a truck, to have a certain shape and color, and to grow well in chemically treated soil . . . but the flavor has been neglected.

Heirloom tomatoes (as my garden seed company calls any 50+ year old varieties) have been selected for flavor among other things, like the ability to grow in poor soil, during a drought, with insects and disease, with no petrochemical soil additives. My farm's retail website has 166 varieties of open pollinated tomato seeds for sale at the moment, most of them specifically bred to grow well in the Mid Atlantic USA. Not all of them are 50 years old, but you can collect seed from an open pollinated variety and replant it the next year.

If you try that with the F1 (first generation) hybrids discussed in this article, you can't save seed from them and grow the same tomato the next year. Some of the plants that grow from an F1 hybrid will be OK, but most of them will be a random mash of undesirable traits. It takes about 10 years of selective breeding to stabilize a new variety, and you might intentionally destroy up to 90% of your crop every year to make sure the other plants don't breed, so you can be sure to only save seed only from the plants displaying the desired traits.

That can be an expensive commitment, so farmers who by F1 hybrids or GMO seeds buy new seeds to plant every year. Most of the benefits of genetically engineered vegetables come from this kind of traditional seed saving. A poison resistance gene is added to an otherwise reliable variety after that variety has been selected for over generations.

This is how you grow tomatoes. It's quoted from the worker owned cooperative garden seed website I co-manage, so I'm not sure if I can link to the page to credit the quote?
WARNING, LOTS OF TEXT Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Culture: Sow seeds 6 weeks before the last frost date for your area. Plant seed 1/4 in. deep in shallow flats and maintain soil temperature in the range of 75–85°F for good germination. When the seedlings have produced several leaves, transplant to 3 in. pots to promote root growth. After transplanting, keep seedlings at a lower temperature at night, 50–60°F, to promote earlier flowering in some varieties. Day temperatures should rise to 75–85°F to promote rapid growth. Expose plants to light and air currents to harden the plants and to encourage stockiness. Water sparingly, but do not allow the growth to be checked. Fertilize with complete, soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion if leaves become yellow and/ or purple. Keep phosphorous levels high. Too much nitrogen will delay fruiting. For transplanting to the garden, average soil temperature should be 60–65°F.

Spacing: Staked plants should be spaced 24" apart. Caged plants should be spaced 36-48" apart in rows 60" apart.

Diseases: Plant disease-resistant varieties for a sustained harvest. Leaf blight diseases such as early blight and alternaria begin to appear about mid-July, and plants are more susceptible once fruit production begins. To reduce disease problems, use resistant or tolerant varieties and rotate tomatoes to different parts of the garden each year, using a 4-year rotation. Mulching and caging/staking plants helps prevent disease. Fusarium wilt (race 1), a disease caused by a soil fungus, is common in the Mid-Atlantic region during mid- to late-season. Fusarium races 1 and 2 are present in southern regions. Where fusarium wilt is present a 6-year rotation or use of resistant varieties is recommended. Do not plant eggplants, peppers, or potatoes in wilt-infested soil during the rotation period. Avoid planting tomatoes near walnut trees to avoid “walnut wilt." Early blight and anthracnose are common in the Mid-Atlantic region, and are favored by hot, humid conditions. Late blight is more common in inland regions at higher elevations, especially during the spring and fall. Blossom-end rot is prevented by ensuring an adequate level of soil calcium and steady moisture.

Pests: Tomatoes planted in healthy soil will generally have few severe pest problems.

Foliage: Many heirlooms are “potato-leafed” – their leaves look like those of potatoes. Some folks think these larger leaves improve fruit flavor and aide pest control.

Flavor: Type of fertilizer used has an effect on flavor. Highly flavored tomatoes are sometimes subject to “off flavors" under certain growing conditions. Avoid placing freshly harvested tomatoes in the refrigerator because refrigeration will destroy much of the delicate flavor. Tomatoes are best stored at a temperature above 50°F.

Cherokee Purple TomatoSeed Savers: Isolate varieties of L. lycopersicum by a minimum of 35' for home use and 75' to 150' for pure seed. Isolate varieties of L. pimpinellifolium species from all other tomato species by a minimum of 150'. See our Illustrated Guide to Saving Tomato Seed for detailed instructions.

Maturation: Days to maturity are the number of days after transplanting.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate: Determinate varieties are short-vined plants that may not need staking, though yields will be much better if plants are staked. Indeterminate varieties are long-vined plants that bear fruit continuously. These varieties should be caged or staked. Some varieties are semi-determinate.

Mulching: Too much mulch on the soil in the spring may delay growth by preventing soil temperature from rising enough to support active root growth. In June, apply a deep mulch around plants to conserve moisture, prevent disease, and increase yield.

Yield: Too much nitrogen after transplanting will delay flowering. High levels of phosphorus are necessary to produce good yields. Pruning and staking increase early fruiting at the expense of yield. Indeterminate varieties may be pruned if necessary. Pruning of determinate varieties should be kept to a minimum. For largest yields, cages 2-1/2' wide by 5' tall are recommended for indeterminate varieties.

Packet: Seed size varies considerably, 0.08 to 0.16 g (about 40-83 seeds, depending on variety, average 64 seeds) sows 100'.
Currant Tomato Packet: 0.05g to 0.09g depending on variety.

Seeds/oz: 7,000-15,000 seeds/oz. (average 11,500) sows 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 acres of transplants at 24" spacing in rows 60" apart.

Processing and Paste Tomatoes

Canning varieties have firm, round fruits that are usually canned whole. Drying varieties are small, lowmoisture tomatoes well suited to quick drying. Paste tomatoes have thick, dry flesh with few seeds. Sauce tomatoes are more flavorful and have more seeds than paste tomatoes, and because they are juicier they need to be cooked longer to make thick sauce. Drying and paste tomatoes are more susceptiable to blossom end rot due to their low moisture content, so during dry spells provide adequate irrrigation and calcium.

Paste and Processing tomato varieties

Winter Storage Tomatoes

Though the quality of winter storage varieties doesn't match that of fresh garden tomatoes, flavor and texture is superior to most winter supermarket tomatoes. Best planted 1–2 months after the main tomato crop, timing the harvest for fall. Avoid watering plants in the 2 weeks before frost. Harvest unblemished tomatoes before frost. Dark green fruits won't ripen off the vines. Keep out of direct sunlight, ripen at room temperature or lower. Store so fruits aren't touching, and check for ripeness and rotting weekly. Used apple boxes with their fruit separators are convenient for this. Some folks wrap individual fruits in newspaper. One longtime grower says he prevents rot by regularly turning over the fruits so they ripen more evenly.

Winter Storage tomato varieties

Sugar Cherry Currant Tomato

Currant Tomatoes
Currant tomatoes are essentially wild tomatoes, little changed by domestication. Vines are long and indeterminate with an open growth habit and generally good disease resistance. Fruits are the size of a berry, 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter. Flavor is intense, sweet and piquant. They are especially suited as salad accents and for the specialty restaurant trade. Seeds are small.

Currant and Cherry tomato varieties

Culture of Greenhouse Tomatoes

Greenhouse-grown tomatoes require pollination for good fruit set. Vibrate the blossom clusters with an electric toothbrush or tap them with a pencil. Daytime temperature should not exceed 90°F (32°C), and night temperatures should drop below 70°F (21°C), but not lower than 55°F (13°C). Optimum night temperature is 59-68°F (15-20°C). At 40°F (5°C) some tomato varieties show tissue damage not readily visible.

Greenhouse Pests: Greenhouse tomato pests such as whiteflies, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites can be controlled with insecticidal soap up to one day before harvest. Whiteflies, winged-aphids, and leafminers are attracted to and trapped by sticky-yellow traps.
post #58 of 111
What a stupid article. The reason why (store bought) tomatoes these days taste like crap is for almost every reason except genetics. Most of the varieties of tomatoes that farmers grow are not new.

The main reason is because the tomatoes are picked green/half green and then boxed. They may sit around on a pallet for a little while before making it to the truck. Then they can spend up to several days in a truck. They arrive at the store.. But wait, the store still has older tomatoes in inventory. So these new tomatoes sit in back until the old ones sell. There you go, you have a tomatoe that is absolutly no less than a week old, usually more. In some cases there is another step between this. For smaller stores rather than receiving the produce direct they often go through a USDA Wholesale Produce Market or another terminal. For larger stores it would go to one of their own redistribution centers. The same thing happens there, they are sending out what has been sitting around for the greatest amount of time. They probably won't, because the freshest ones still won't be ripe. None of this even takes into consideration the different pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers used for higher yields.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Better give up corn (maize) as it was a GMO from the native american days. rolleyes.gif

Maize was developed through selective breeding, cross pollination etc over hundreds of years. I wouldn't consider it in any way, shape or form comparable to the modern gene modification that corporations such as Monsanto perform.
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post #59 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Hope I'm not being too involved in this thread...redface.gif
Darn I wanted to be tomato man. biggrin.gif I think you got what I was saying; it could happen but likely wouldn't.
I think I failed....I'm talking about the food mutating the person/animal eating them. Maybe I didn't make that clear. redface.gif I understand the reasons for wanting to manipulate the food.

It can't.

Horizontal gene transfer is rare but technically possible in humans. But consider that we've been eating DNA for our entire existence. Humans don't express the proteins encoded in exogenous DNA AFAIK. To cause cancer so would require the horizontal transfer or an entire gene, transformation into our nucleus, somehow RNA expression even though it has no promoter, translation by ribosome, it would somehow have to be a functional gene, and it would have to be something that happens to be toxic or make something that happens to be toxic and breaks our oncogenes. Not to mention that it wouldn't be in the human codon bias, and if all the above were magically possible expression would be garbage. Tall order. The entire history of evolution is against expression of consumed DNA. It is food. If we expressed everything we ate we would be screwed.

Finally, a lot of people think these GMO genes are magical creations worked up by evil scientists in labs. They're not. They are genes that we are already exposed to all the time, just put into different organisms.

Case in point: GMO Fast-growing salmon. Yellow journalists call it "Frankenfish." AquAdvantage salmon uses the gene cluster opAFP-GHc2. opAFP is a fish-derived promoter to allow expression. The growth hormone itself (GH) comes from chinook salmon. WE ALREADY EAT THIS GENE REGULARLY.

Humans have been modifying plants and animals for thousands and thousands of years. We just have better tools to do it now.

EDIT:
FDA documents on AquAdvantage:
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/VeterinaryMedicineAdvisoryCommittee/UCM224760.pdf
They talk about the genes involved in detail nearabouts page 15 or so.
Edited by avesdude - 2/19/13 at 4:55pm
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post #60 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by avesdude View Post

It can't.

Horizontal gene transfer is rare but technically possible in humans. But consider that we've been eating DNA for our entire existence. Humans don't express the proteins encoded in exogenous DNA AFAIK. To cause cancer so would require the horizontal transfer or an entire gene, transformation into our nucleus, somehow RNA expression even though it has no promoter, translation by ribosome, it would somehow have to be a functional gene, and it would have to be something that happens to be toxic or make something that happens to be toxic and breaks our oncogenes. Not to mention that it wouldn't be in the human codon bias, and if all the above were magically possible expression would be garbage. Tall order. The entire history of evolution is against expression of consumed DNA. It is food. If we expressed everything we ate we would be screwed.

Finally, a lot of people think these GMO genes are magical creations worked up by evil scientists in labs. They're not. They are genes that we are already exposed to all the time, just put into different organisms.

Case in point: GMO Fast-growing salmon. Yellow journalists call it "Frankenfish." AquAdvantage salmon uses the gene cluster opAFP-GHc2. opAFP is a fish-derived promoter to allow expression. The growth hormone itself (GH) comes from chinook salmon. WE ALREADY EAT THIS GENE REGULARLY.

Humans have been modifying plants and animals for thousands and thousands of years. We just have better tools to do it now.

EDIT:
FDA documents on AquAdvantage:
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/VeterinaryMedicineAdvisoryCommittee/UCM224760.pdf
They talk about the genes involved in detail nearabouts page 15 or so.

in most instances i agree there is no harm from gmo and the risks are overhyped. however, to say the genetic modification as practiced today is the same as selective breeding used by humans for thousands of years is not true
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