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Slouching Toward Mediocrity

Let the best fruit win, and when it does, we'll know how to ask for it. 'The European Community requires that grapes, oranges, apples and pears be identified by variety at the point of sale, and the practice is common there for other fruits too.' 'Until 2006, the California Tree Fruit Agreement, the organization that sets standards for the state's shippers of peaches, nectarines and plums, required the specific variety to be identified on the carton. But some growers and shippers found that they could not readily market certain varieties perceived by buyers as inferior, and so the CTFA now allows fruit to be shipped under generic designations such as "yellow peach."''When inferior varieties are marketed generically, producers of inferior varieties piggyback on producers of better varieties. In a pomological version of Gresham's law, bad fruit drives out good.''All too often today, new varieties are bred to appeal to the lowest common denominator, to be inoffensive to the greatest number of people, so it suits the industrial distribution system when fruit is marketed anonymously. When fruit quality is homogenized, variety is less significant; in turn, anonymity deprives consumers of their main weapon to resist homogenization.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 25, 2010 - 137 comments

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