Busting Bellatti’s Bad Broccoli Breath

Most of you are familiar with Monsanto the seed giant. All of you are familiar with the cruciferous vegetable, broccoli. Some of you may know that Monsanto released a variety of broccoli last year purported to be better for you, called “Beneforté.” One year later, an article by a newly-registered dietitian named Andy Bellatti appeared on Grist to bust Monsanto’s ‘better’ broccoli, which some of you may have noticed. But none of you who finish reading this post will believe that Bellatti “busted” the Beneforté broccoli at all. The only thing he busted was his own research, journalistic, and dietetic

Evolution of Fruit Shape in Tomato

Someday you’ll be able to use CAD software to draw up what you want a plant to look like and the software (containing detailed growth models) will tell you what genetic constructs you need to bring it into the world… But for now we barely understand how natural morphological variation is controlled. So I was excited to see this paper out of the van der Knaap and Francis labs. In it, they review some of the known levers by which tomato plants control fruit shape and investigate their historical appearance.

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?

I just went to the new “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit at the National Archives. It tells the history of the government’s role in U.S. food and agriculture –  a story of market protectionism, social engineering and the regulated tension between the aspirations of business and the demands of the people…