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Tomatoes: not coming back

By IHCOYC in Op-Ed
Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:15:51 AM EST
Tags: tomato, food, panic, medical, corporate (all tags)

A notice posted on the door to my local McDonalds announced that it, as a corporation, "supports" the FDA's latest contamination scare regarding tomatoes and salmonella, and as a result they have "voluntarily" and "temporarily" stopped serving tomatoes on sandwiches that formerly contained them. This is "temporary" only in the same sense that all other earthly things are temporary. They will never return.

You may remember a year or so ago, when scallions vanished from the ingredient list at Taco Bell and salad bars across the land. Another bacterial scare was the stated reason. It turns out that scallions were not the cause of this alleged outbreak of food poisoning. Lettuce might have been. But lettuce is cheap, and a relative staple. Of course, the scallions have not returned.

Of course, when you go grocery shopping you will discover that as vegetables go, green onions are costly. They are limited in season, and therefore have to be shipped from all over the world or grown in greenhouses. A salad bar where diners are invited to eat their fill of green onions as freely as they could gorge on lettuce has a lower profit margin. Something had to be done. Voilą! E. Coli to the rescue!

Tomatoes are even more famous for the logistics of packing, storing, and ripening them. They, too, have a limited growing season. The firm, flavorless McDonalds tomato, specially bred to preserve its shape while being sliced thin, is a fairly high ticket item to produce. They are picked green, and reddened, not necessarily ripened, by exposure to ethylene gas.

A health scare involving tomatoes is good for the bottom line in a time of rising transportation costs. It helps accustom the customer base to the loss of a product feature liked by many. Their motives are literally unquestionable. After all, McDonalds is only looking out for your health.


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o Are poisonous in any case 23%
o Love-apples 26%
o ate Chicago 23%
o Needed to throw at politicians 26%

Votes: 30
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o stopped serving tomatoes
o scallions vanished
o scallions were not the cause
o ethylene gas
o looking out for your health
o Also by IHCOYC

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Tomatoes: not coming back | 23 comments (17 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
WHO CAN FREE US (3.00 / 2) (#1)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 03:12:02 PM EST


[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

RON PAUL TO THE RESCUE $ (3.00 / 8) (#8)
by Just this guy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 06:04:57 PM EST

[ Parent ]
A-taaaaaaaaack (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by Sgt York on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 03:22:09 PM EST

of the killer to-may-toes!

It is a coverup, but you're way off track.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

hmmm (none / 1) (#9)
by khallow on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 06:25:10 PM EST

Well, I do recall seeing onions on my bean burritos, but I guess those aren't scallions.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

-1, whaddya talking about (none / 1) (#10)
by debillitatus on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 06:33:16 PM EST

Dude, they have the tomatoes in there because they've somehow focus-grouped that people like the tomatoes.

Besides, if they wanted to just take them out, the could.  You think the drones who shovel down that garbage would kick up a fuss?

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!

Good riddance (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by Phssthpok on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 07:40:24 PM EST

Now I don't have to spend valuable minutes explaining my Taco Bell order.

Let's hope cilantro is next.

affective flattening has caused me to kill 11,357 people

Amen. (none / 1) (#23)
by rholliday on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:43:58 AM EST

I was very pleased that restaurants didn't have tomatoes, less for them to screw up on my order. However, it was annoying that every time I reflexively said, "no tomatoes, no mayonnaise" they responded, "We Don't Have Tomatoes!!" Sometimes they were so concerned with that they forgot to not put on mayonnaise, a much more fatal flaw.

Survival Guide: Dust Settles. You too can destroy the world!
[ Parent ]
Obligatory Onion clip (none / 1) (#12)
by LodeRunner on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:27:49 PM EST


"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner

'looking out for your health' (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 01:13:28 AM EST

When I saw that was an imdb link, before I clicked it I thought it was pointing to Soylent Green.

A while back, I saw a magazine photo in which a McDonalds Quality Assurance inspector was measuring the thickness of pickle slices with a vernier caliper. That's just plain wrong.

Looking for some free songs?

retarded paranoia (none / 1) (#15)
by postDigital on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 09:20:11 AM EST

I mean it's not like tomatoes are going to suck-up salmonella in poorly treated effluent water used in irrigation now is it?

Who eats at McDonald's anyway? (none / 1) (#16)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:31:51 PM EST

Buy Fresh. Buy Local.

Real Americans. (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by givemegmail111 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 08:26:48 PM EST

McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Parent ]
Bullshit. (none / 1) (#17)
by givemegmail111 on Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 08:26:14 PM EST

But meanwhile, just use ketchup.

McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a
Actually (none / 1) (#19)
by sterno on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 10:22:44 AM EST

The firm, flavorless McDonalds tomato, specially bred to preserve its shape while being sliced thin, is a fairly high ticket item to produce

Not true.  Those tomatoes have been bred to grow to a consistent size.  This allows them to be packed into a certain specific size shipping package which makes the logistics simpler.  It's a lot harder to deal with tomatoes if you have some that are enormous and some that are not.  

Tomatoes will be coming back.  Nobody gives a damn about green onions.  Nobody advertises green onions as a feature of their food.  Tomatoes, on the other hand are far more of a staple.  Frankly I don't like them all that much, mostly because they are flavorless things grown to fit in a box.  

Tomatoes: back (3.00 / 4) (#20)
by j1mmy on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:52:29 PM EST

How about that?

Tomatoes: Communist myth (3.00 / 9) (#21)
by A Bore on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:07:48 AM EST

Tomatoes or "love apples" were invented in the Soviet Union in the 1970s with a view to popularising subconsciously the colour red. Acceptance of red; consuming red objects which were sweet and tasty; was seen as a subtle way of eroding public sympathy for the long war between the USA and the USSR. The bastard offspring of an apple and an aubergine, only in Europe, specifically Spain and Italy, does this pernicous legacy survive.

American countermeasures included the deployment of their own variety of tomato, the Chelsea Patriot, which was reverse engineered to have white stripes interrupting the red colour regularly and exactly 51 seeds. It is this variety that is popular in the better hemisphere of the world - over time the variations have been bred out of the tomato stock after the relaxation caused by the Soviet implosion in the early 1990s. Descendents of the original can still be bought in much of America, and has spread to other american controlled territories such as good britain, Amerxico (where it is know as "Pocho") and peaceful countries such as guatemala.

Given this history, it is hardly surprising that an multinational company would drop the tomato from its menus. It is probably a gesture acknowledging the growing Anti-American spirit in places like Europia.

only one thing left to eat. (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by shokk on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 11:50:04 PM EST

Tired of eating possibly contaminated salads?  Now there's a product that gives you the nutrition you need while not threatening your health.  Soylent Greeens!!  Just don't ask where it comes from and be happy there is something left to eat.
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
Tomatoes: not coming back | 23 comments (17 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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