The “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes.
“I frequently read confident statements like, ‘when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …’ or ‘it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.’ This is just plain wrong,” says New York Times Op-ed Columnist Mark Bittman in: Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?
Supermarket tomatoes may look delicious — smooth, red and unblemished — but for the most part, they taste like nothing at all.
“I think tomatoes in grocery stores are like food porn in the purest sense of the word,” author Barry Estabrook tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. “They tantalize you, they make you think, but they don’t deliver.”
Estabrook is the author of a new book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. It lays out why supermarket tomatoes tend to taste so bad — and how they got that way. Learn more about the Troubled History Of The Supermarket Tomato in this NPR special feature.