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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 8, 2009 7:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was Sunday at the pound. The next post in this blog is Is that really Earl the Pearl, tweeting?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

That ain't natural

Got an odd orange from the store this week:

What did Big Food do this time?

Comments (18)

Looks like the automated paint sprayer malfunctioned at the processing plant. I'll bet the grocery store will exchange it for one that is nice and evenly orange all over.

The fruit is gassed to change the color.

http://lagringasblogicito.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-are-oranges-orange.html

Sorry, my html-fu is weak. I had to see if Portland native was right. Egads!

On a different note but related to ripening, did you all know you can pick your late season green tomatoes and they will ripen into the fall and winter in your house. Many people discard their green tomatoes that didnt ripen on the vine, but if you pick them and leave the star on them (the greenery by the stem or the navel) as well as some stem also, they will ripen up over a period of weeks in your home. Just don't let them touch either as they are ripening. Sometimes one or two may rot before they ripen, but most often you get about a 99% return...

They don't need to be in the sunlight to ripen. Just find a place in your basement or as I do mine, on the window sill (I have a southern exposure so they arent getting any sunlight... A friend of mine brought me 25 green tomatoes about 3 weeks ago and all but 4 have ripened and none rotted.. If you put them in a cooler place, like a basement, they will ripen slower and be available more into the winter months... It's important to leave some of the star and some stem (an inch or two) if you can, but the star is most important. I've had some without the star ripen also, but overall, the star is better for getting them to ripen after theyre picked... good luck..

oops, I meant northern exposure...

Fried green tomato sandwiches!

My Meyers lemons will be ripe in a month or so. I have thought of growing one of the orange varieties but the easiest to grow in the NW are mostly sour orange (good for drinks!). Could do kumquats though.

Along with our nearly year around garden, eggs, bees, cheese, bread, etc. we don't buy as much as we did only a few years ago.

Probably hard on the economy but good for us and it gives the kids something to do.

Mark

Ethylene gas is used to ripen some commercially-harvested fruits. Although the ethylene gas used for this purpose is probably sourced from natural gas, it is a substance produced naturally by plants. Its release by ripe fruit triggers ripening in adjacent fruits. So the practice of exposing unripe fruit to ethylene gas (or controlling such exposure) is derived from a natural process and allows for efficient harvests, sturdier fruit for shipping, and extended storage (which allows all of us to enjoy a variety of fresh fruits for many months after the harvest is over).

"which allows all of us to enjoy a variety of fresh fruits for many months after the harvest is over"

Fresh?!
I do not think that word means what you think it means.

I'm waiting for tomatoes with bar-codes grown into them.

If anybody can, Dupont can do it!!

For ripening green tomatoes inside, if you wrap each one in a layer of newspaper (like an Xmas ornament), put them all in a brown paper bag and throw in part of an old apple or banana to help with the gases, they'll redden quite nicely.

Back in our South Pacific cruising days 20+ years ago, there was a product called "Komi's Crystals". This was used by nearly all the cruisers to kill all the nasty bugs on the produce you got from some rather dubious sources. It was a quite hideous shade of purple so you could see exactly where it was on your head of lettuce or the pineapple covered in baby roaches that you had picked up along the way. You dipped the produce let it sit a few minutes and then rinsed off the food in water with a bit of bleach in it...because you probably were not real sure about the water either!
This product was great! With care and Kombi's we never had a roach on board.
BTW...green oranges taste just fine.

Gee....

Who put that one in the bag?

We all must be responsible for our choices - especially the paranoid among us.

"Probably hard on the economy but good for us and it gives the kids something to do.

Growing your own food is probably better for the local economy. Whatever you don't spend on groceries, mostly from out of state, you will spend otherwise and possibly for something made right here.

George, you may want to ask your elderly relatives about the efforts they took to lock in the "freshness" of harvest. Mine would pickle stuff (which we now know results in too much salt and sugar in our diets) or can things at home (which typically resulted in overcooked and nutrient-depleted foods). Storing freshly harvested produce under controlled atmospheric conditions for later "ripening" with ethylene gas is really no different than freezing or refrigerating or what your ancestors and mine attempted to do in their root cellars. Except, it is more effective and results in tastier and healthier food, when and where you want it.

Maddog

Sweet citrus require too much heat to be ripened here; without heat they can't develop the sugars.

You can grow an Orange tree but all you will get are sour oranges.

As for tomatoes my GF is from Baltimore and she states they need that east-coast hot humid summer weather to do well; west coast dry heat doesn't cut it.

Molly, I don't know what the chemicals you like to eat have done to you, but I'm the elderly relative in my line, and I don't recall anything going in the root cellars that wasn't edible when picked -- in fact, that was the general rule for food to be put up -- it had to be at its best when canned, pickled, dried, cellared, or frozen because it wasn't going to get better from there.

Same's true with the food-like crops that are bred to be shippable and profitable rather than palatable. Anything picked when unripe for storage and later processed to resemble ripe fruits or vegetables is vastly inferior to real fresh produce.

No preserved fruit or vegetable is as good as real fresh food for various reasons -- but, on the other hand, nobody's selling them as fresh.

The green stripe was probably caused by the fruit being against a large branch. Oranges are non-climacteric, so they cannot ripen once picked and do not respond much to ethylene gas. they can be harvested ripe and are tough enough to make it to market without degrading. About the only post harvest processing is to wash and coat them with edible parafin (this is the stuff that flakes off if you bend a piece of rind).

Citrus also produces very little ethylene (apples and other climacteric fruit give off large amounts of ethylene, which is why apples ripen faster in an enclosed bag).

Ask over at the food innovation lab at OSU. OSU and research partner Monsanto go way back. Last I heard OSU was working on developing fizzy grapes....full of soda pop. Dumb.


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