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Quote of the Day: A Carrot is a Carrot

April 25th, 2010

“Even though most people can easily discern the quality difference between brands of automobiles or appliances, that same astuteness, with the exception of visible cosmetic quality, does not seem to be applied to vegetables. The myth has been successfully planted in the public mind (possible for the benefit of the homogeneous supermarkets) that biological quality differences do not exist and a carrot is a carrot is a carrot.”

Eliot Coleman (The Winter Harvest Handbook)

Once you start eating fresh local or homegrown vegetables, you can easily tell the difference between them and homogenous supermarket vegetables. The ones at the grocery store may be more perfect, without blemish, all shaped the same and all look the same. But an ugly tomato from my garden is certainly more lovely than a supermarket tomato. And can you get any better than fresh sweet corn from the side of the road?

Can you tell a difference between supermarket fruits and vegetables and those from the farmer’s market or your back yard?

16 Comments to “Quote of the Day: A Carrot is a Carrot”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: #Quote of the Day: A Carrot is a Carrot #farmersmarket #local #growyourown #homegrown […]

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  2. Sarah on April 25, 2010 at 6:22 am

    The beets are always sweeter from the garden, and the garlic more potent. :)
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Life|Art =-.

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  3. Attila on April 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Yes, definitely! The tomatoes I grow are sweet and yummy; the supermarket ones are tasteless and watery.

    Reply to Attila's comment

  4. denise on April 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

    oh yes – for sure. now if it would only warm up so my garden veggies will grow!
    .-= denise´s last blog ..straight up =-.

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  5. Seren Dippity on April 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

    My DH bought onion sets last spring. Not something I was particularly planning on making room for in my garden. (Scallions and chives, yes.) Anyway, I planted them and they grew, and grew. But they never bulbed. One at a time, I used them as something like overgrown scallions. Yesterday, I pulled the last one. It had been in the garden for over a year. There was a small hint of a bulb, and the base of the green was seriously 2″ in diameter.
    As I chopped it up for dinner last night, it smelled onion-ier! And sure enough it tasted better than a white onion from the grocery store. A richer, earthier, more robust taste.
    This year he brought home bulbs for red, yellow _and_ white onions. I planted some, but if they take over a year to mature, I just don’t have the garden space!!! He purchased these as generic bulbs at the box store. I think I need to research the topic. Maybe these are not right for our climate. But if I can grow onions that taste that great, I will try to find the room!

    I’m learning that EVERYTHING taste better from your own garden.

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  6. kristin @ going country on April 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I was just saying the other day that every time we grow something new, I ruin myself for ever buying it at the store again. Like the asparagus. And this year, I expect after I eat the snow and snap peas I’m growing for the first time, I won’t be able to ever purchase them again, either.

    It’s a good problem to have.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..The Waiting Game =-.

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  7. Maureen on April 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I was recently told by an old time farmer (after complaining about the misnomer of red ‘delicious’ apples) that if I had tasted the original red delicious I would have a completely different opinion of the fruit. He said the newer strains of apples that have been bred for shipping and long life over taste have obliterated any resemblance to the ‘delicious’ apple of his youth.

    How sad.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Foraging =-.

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  8. Lee on April 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    The first (and only) time I had a homegrown potato, I was 15 and asked for the recipe. It was 20 years before I realized it wasn’t the amount of butter and dill but the potato itself. We’re attempting our own this summer.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  9. mamaraby on April 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t know that I can always tell the difference for every fruit or vegetable, but the two most notable ones that I can spot are an apple and a tomato. I actually despise grocery store tomatoes so much that I will *never* buy them at the store (with last week being the noticeable exception as a Chicago Dog is not a Chicago Dog w/slice tomatoes).
    .-= mamaraby´s last blog ..The End of Radiation Treatment =-.

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  10. Ashley on April 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I can easily taste the difference. Especially between real baby carrots and the “baby carrots” from the grocery store that are just cut down versions of large carrots. Those are ridiculous to me!

    Reply to Ashley's comment

  11. Kelly on April 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    How can you not?! I refuse to buy tomatoes at the store because they’re horrid – I’d rather use canned. Lettuce is another I buy only if we really crave it – last year we were astonished at how delicious it was from the garden! I won’t buy cucumbers because they’re so easy and cheap and yummy (and proliferate!).

    As Kristin said above, I just can’t seem to buy grocery store food once I’ve grown it myself (without guilt or exception). I’d rather buy it frozen or canned, if I must, since those aren’t picked early for transport so they have a semblance of flavour.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Garden Update 2.11 =-.

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  12. sarah on April 26, 2010 at 1:02 am

    With out a doubt! Tomatoes for sure are def better from farmers market or better our yard (haha) Fresh picked veggies – much better and just knowing that it was handled less is appealing to me. We are Trader Joe’s fans for most of our groceries (a local grocery store here) BUT we don’t usually buy most of our fresh produce there as they sell most of it in plastic containers. BAD for the environment and the plastic taste it seems to leave on the produce is just awful!
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Mother Nature’s twist. Our first carrots. =-.

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  13. Mr Sky on April 26, 2010 at 6:22 am

    The top three from our corner of Norfolk would be: Tomatoes, picked and eaten in the sunshine – nothing tastes better; New Potatoes, freshly dug and popped into a lovely summer salad; And Peas – generally greedily scoffed as we garden, weed and wander around the plot wishing we’d planted more!
    It’s also great for the children to see where their food comes from and understand how it grows.

    Reply to Mr Sky's comment

  14. Alyse on April 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Last summer my boyfriend and I visited the Farmer’s Market twice a week. Once that was over, there were no good options for fresh tomatoes. I froze a bunch of corn, zucchini, canned beans, and made pickles, but the fresh tomato of course eluded us.
    With a heavy sigh I bought a tomato at the grocery store. It was hard when I sliced it, like an unripe green tomato, which of course it was. We both took one bite of our sandwiches and then picked the tomato off. I haven’t bought a supermarket tomato since.
    I fear the same will happen when I run out of my frozen corn and have to eat the two cans of corn in my pantry.

    There really is no comparison when it comes to taste. None, whatsoever.
    .-= Alyse´s last blog ..Horticultural Updation =-.

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  15. Teresia on April 30, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Absolutely… veggies from a traditional supermarket are in my opinion bland. There is nothing like a veggie that was picked the same day you eat it.

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  16. Beegirl on May 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Went to the farmers market on friday, which hosted a lot of Amish canned goods. The produce was mostly – sorry to say – from out of the country. At least they were honest and marked the signs. I bought apples and purple hulled popcorn and left. A local stand has just opened for the year. I’ll be hitting them up this week!!
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..The Farmer and The Egg Lady =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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