The politics of putting an UglyRipe tomato on your plate
The UglyRipe is a large, irregularly lumpy tomato developed from a French heirloom variety by a Philadelphia entrepreneur who is determined to give us a tomato that tastes good, even if it looks, well... ugly. For years, this unhandsome invention never made it to our grocery store shelves because the Florida Tomato Committee (yes, there is such a thing, and UglyRipe tomatoes are grown in Florida) said the fruits didn't comply with standards set five decades ago to "assure the quality and uniformity of the Florida round tomato."
Who cares if they're not perfectly round! As long as they taste good, right?!
Now, after years of wrangling involving a team of lawyers, lobbyists, congressional representatives and PR people, the creator of the UglyRipe tomato will finally get his chance to show us what all the fuss was about. UglyRipe tomatoes are coming soon to a store near you.
Read all about it:
Forbidden Fruit No Longer, by Cindy Skrzycki, The Washington Post, February 6, 2007.
It's Ugly, and Coming to Your Grocer, The Washington Post, January 24, 2007.