retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that a new paper published in Nature Biotechnology says that "scientists have successfully tweaked a gene that slows how quickly (tomatoes) soften without affecting their size or color.

The story notes that in the past, efforts to slow down the softening process have resulted in tomatoes that do not taste as good, and in this case, the impact on taste is unknown "because consuming genetically modified foods isn’t allowed in the U.K., where the research was conducted."

The Journal also reports that no matter what the taste results are, it is unlikely that this gene technology would be applied to tomatoes on a broad scale because the tomato market simply isn't big enough to justify the expense. (Unlike soy and corn, for example.) However, the research is seen as potentially providing a kind of "road map" that will allow scientists to make other kinds of GMO-related choices.
KC's View:
They say the tomato market isn't big enough to justify the expense, and that's all right with me. The tomato happens to be one of my favorite foods, and I'm a lot less concerned with shelf life than I am with taste.

The thing is, I would hope that genetic modification would allow fresh products to last longer. Otherwise, what's the point? People who object to GMOs aren't arguing this, but rather suggesting that the people who think shelf life is the be all and end all are themselves missing the point.

A tomato that last forever but doesn't taste great isn't real food as far as I'm concerned.