A Genetic Fix to Put the Taste Back in Tomatoes By kenneth chang

Summary of article: The article explains how the taste of supermarket tomatoes has been drained out over the past few decades. A scientist, Harry J. Klee, from the University of Florida has said that he can put the taste back in tomatoes in just a few years. Klee and his colleagues have located genes that produce these chemicals, and identified heirloom and wild varieties of tomatoes that possess better versions of these genes. Despite genetic engineering being a much quicker process, the researchers are using traditional breeding methods in an effort to not scare away the average person. The article goes on to explain that the chemistry of tomato flavor has three primary components: sugars, acids and what are known as volatile chemicals and how the cumulative effect of changes in tomato growing is blandness. Tomato plants produce small quantities of these volatiles, so restoring the good genes in the plants shouldn't greatly affect the other traits that growers demand.

Analysis of Article: The article brings up a really interesting idea. Genetically modifying a vegetable in order to restore the taste that so many people love is great. After thinking about it, it is true that the taste of the average tomato is gone. This idea could be groundbreaking, and it could change the way we eat forever. There is the potential that this could solve parenting issues with getting children to eat healthy foods. If the vegetables taste good, there is no problem with kids wanting to eat it. That is why this article is noteworthy. Solving the problem of this one vegetable (or I guess technically fruit), could lead to further discoveries on how to make other fruits and veggies taste better.

There are nearly 400 varieties of tomato being modified

My Takeaway: I picked this article mainly because of the headline. I enjoy eating food, and the title of the article grabbed me. After reading it, it was clear that this was the article I should do this project on. The idea of genetically modifying a food is very interesting to me, especially a food that I generally am not a fan of, and could make that food taste better. I think it is true that tomatoes have lost their quality of taste, and the average supermarket tomato just isn't all that good. During the fall and spring, my family and I go to our local farmer's market and get some tomatoes to make sandwiches with, and you can really taste the difference between a fresh grown tomato and an average supermarket one. That is why I'm so intrigued by this idea. If this process can make all tomatoes taste like the ones we get from the farmer's market, I'd be eating a lot more tomatoes. Hopefully this process is well-documented and I can follow along, because I definitely want to learn more on how this works and how successful it is.

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