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Five Reasons Why Homegrown Produce Tastes Better

Let’s face it: a homegrown tomato tastes better than one from the supermarket. It’s not simply a state of mind. Put on a blindfold, and take a bite of a store-purchased tomato versus one straight off the vine—you’ll be able to tell which is which, pretty quickly. There are scientific reasons behind the difference in taste, five of which we’re observing today.

1) Supermarket Produce Is Harvested Before Peak Ripeness.

Most produce heading to the supermarket must travel a long distance. Hence, those fruits and vegetables are harvested while still bright green. They never reach their potential size and miss out on peak ripeness.

Some produce will even be artificially ripened during transport. For example, tomatoes receive ethylene gas to ripen them red. Ideally, tomatoes should be left on the vine until the breaker stage, when the tomato is about half green and half pink. Then they can be harvested and ripened off the vine with no loss of flavor, quality, or nutrition.

2) Sugars Become Starch Once Harvested.

Have you ever eaten a blueberry immediately after plucking it off the vine? It’s at its peak ripeness and fullest flavor. By contrast, take a bite of a blueberry that was plucked a week ago—not as good, right? The reason is that fruits and vegetables contain sugars that begin turning to starch as soon as they’re harvested.

According to a study from Purdue University, sweet corn loses a whopping 50% of its sugar content in the first 12 hours after being harvested! There’s no telling how long those supermarket fruits and vegetables have been off the vine or plant.

3) Flavor Is Less a Priority in Supermarket Fruits and Veggies.

Supermarkets typically sell hybrid fruits and vegetables. With hybrid plants, breeders combine the desired traits of two plants through cross-pollination. However, the enhancements are typically related to shelf life and transportation—not flavor. A tomato from your local big box store might withstand the machine harvesting and transport, and they might last longer on the store shelf, but we guarantee its flavor won’t have the same pizzazz as i{“type”:”inserter”,”blocks”:[{“clientId”:”cb637676-83b5-4760-a9f9-460fb1a62458″,”name”:”tadv/classic-paragraph”,”isValid”:true,”attributes”:{},”innerBlocks”:[]}]}f it came straight from your garden.

4) Better Soil, Better Food.

When you use compost and organic materials from natural sources, you’re not only enriching your soil, you’re feeding your plants with exceptional nutrition.

In modern agriculture with its industrialized soil, growers often apply synthetic fertilizers to their crops. Sure, these fertilizers provide essential nutrients, but they lack the micronutrients and soil microbiome that give crops important vitamins and minerals. These fertilizers provide the things that will make fruits and vegetables large, but not necessarily healthier—think of them as junk food for soil. When the soil misses out on nutrition, so do its fruits and vegetables—and so do the food’s consumers.

Besides, healthier produce is tastier produce. Even if you don’t miss those extra vitamins in your diet, you might miss the flavor in your meal.

5) Taste the Pride and Satisfaction.

Okay, so this one actually is more mind over matter. Still, eating a fruit or vegetable you grew yourself only adds to the satisfaction when you bite into it. You’re not only eating healthier, you know the work that went into your snack or meal. Plus, by purchasing your plants from a local supplier—like our very own Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse in King, NC—you’re supporting your community.


Supermarkets do a great job of providing us with produce year-round, seven days a week. They provide us with convenience, but you can’t beat a homegrown tomato for flavor though. Mitchell’s Nursery sells the plants you need and can also answer questions on how to ensure they provide delicious and plentiful fruits and vegetables. If nothing else, you can at least try to grow something and see what happens. You’ll proudly bite into a fruit or veggie you grew yourself that will astound your taste buds.