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You go to your local store and you see different types of fruits. They are big, fresh, and appealing. But everything changes when you take a bite. They aren’t as sweet as you expect or remember them to be. There are a number of reasons why fruits don’t taste as good as they used to be. And we’ll be talking about some of the reasons below.
1. Seasonal Factor
It’s an open secret that certain fruits grow naturally in a particular season. Pears, oranges, dates and tangerines are winter fruits while pineapples, oranges and strawberries grow well in spring. This is because these seasons have particular weather conditions that aid the natural development and maturation of these fruits.
Growing a fruit out of season will have a significant effect on the quality and flavor. Nowadays, fruits are hardly seasonal due to the desire to have them available all year round. And this is one of the major reasons why fruits don’t taste as good as they used to be.
2. Geographical Location
You can grow a strawberry in Vancouver. You can grow it in California. If you so desire, you can grow bananas in Montana. You can grow any fruit wherever you want. But one thing is certain, they are not all going to taste the same. And you’ll notice that fruits taste better when grown in locations they are indigenous to. Some of the fruits you buy were grown in countries they were not indigenous to and imported. The flavor of these imported fruits is inferior to that of their local counterparts and they are thus less enjoyable.
3. Artificial Ripening
What attracts you to fruits you see in supermarkets and stores, Yes, you know. It’s the appearance. The fruits you see in supermarkets have an appealing appearance due to the uniform ripening. And this is due to the addition of ripening agents. The natural ripening process takes place after the maturation of the fruits. And natural maturation and ripening impart the characteristic flavor and smell of fruits. But you see, most of the fruits you see in the supermarket aren’t matured. They are harvested ‘green’ or ‘unripe’ so they can be transported over long distances without getting spoiled.
On arrival at their destination, the ripening process is induced by ripening agents and the flavor and smell of the fruits suffer. And that’s another major reason why fruits don’t taste as good as they used to be.
4. Plant Breeding
Growers and distributors are mainly concerned about the appearance, yield, shelf life and durability of fruits. As a result, a lot of fruits have been genetically engineered to achieve these desirable characteristics. That’s why you’ll see carrots in your store looking perfectly straight while those grown locally in your area may have many deformed pieces.
Genetically enhanced fruits are also more resistant to pests, bacteria, fungi and viruses. And they are more durable allowing them to withstand travels over long distances and have a longer shelf life. You can easily see the many advantages of enhancing these fruits. However, there is the unintentional effect of reduced flavor. This has been scientifically proven. That’s why your deformed and not-so-good looking local carrot will always taste better than the straight and attractive ones in supermarkets.
A study carried out by a group of scientists to investigate the decline in the flavor of tomatoes was reported by the Guardian some time ago. During the study, it was discovered that about 13 volatile compounds were responsible for the flavor of tomatoes. And these volatile compounds were found to be absent in modern varieties of tomatoes. So there you have it.
5. Climate Change
Yes, you’ve heard all about climate change. The ozone layer is getting depleted, temperatures are rising, polar ice caps are melting and so on. But we bet you never thought climate change has an effect on the fruits you eat. One fruit that is particularly affected by climate change is the good ol’ apple. You must have noticed a decline in the sweetness of apples including those that are grown in their biologically evolved locations. Climate change has even made this universally-beloved fruit more prone to pests and diseases leading to a reduction in quality and flavor.
Thanks to a team of researchers, we are better able to understand the effect of climate change on apples. The team worked on apples grown in Japan and were able to establish that increase in temperature has a direct effect on the decline in the quality of the fruit. Apparently, there’s been a temperature increase of about 3.5°F in some regions growing apples in Japan [via Mashed]
Finding Food With Flavor
With all we’ve said above, it seems like we might not be eating any flavorful fruit for the foreseeable future. But this is not actually true. There are still delicious, healthy and flavorful fruits out there. If you know where to look.
Grow your own fruits and vegetables: This is one way you can ensure you get flavorful fruits. Grow fruits that are indigenous to your locality in their season. Be sure to get local seeds. You can ask your neighbors or gardeners about the most flavorful varieties. Or you could do a Google search. Whichever works for you.
Buy your fruits from farmer’s markets: It’s about time you ditched the supermarket for farmer’s markets. The fruits there are local varieties that have good flavor plus they are also picked ripe. You may decide to never buy fruits from supermarkets again after a visit to the farmer’s market.