Friday, March 11, 2005

Too Stupid To Be Allowed To Buy a Tomato?

The Florida Tomato Committee thinks you are:

WASHINGTON — Procacci Brothers, a Philadelphia-based produce empire, had a good and simple idea in the 1990s. They would grow a tasty winter tomato, charge a premium price, and let customers beat a path to their door.

Procacci's exclusive tomato looked a lot like an acorn squash with hives, however. So they called it an UglyRipe and rejoiced as UglyRipe sales doubled nationwide in each of its first three years on the market.

But this year, UglyRipe fans, though willing to pay $4 a pound or more, mostly search in vain.

The villain, according to Joseph Procacci, chairman of the family firm, is the Florida Tomato Committee, based in Maitland, Fla., which sets standards for Florida tomatoes sold out of state between Oct. 10 and June 15.

The FLUBA Committee on the Obvious is moved to ask, isn't this interstate commerce?
Not to mention that we believe any adult employed as a Tomato Committee Manager deserves all the low self-esteem he garners:

While Florida's Tomato Committee continued exemptions for cherry, plum and greenhouse-grown beefsteak tomatoes, said Reggie Brown, manager of the Tomato Committee, too many exemptions would cause "chaos." It also might allow substandard tomatoes to flood the market, he said.

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