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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Resolving to Make Vegetables Better

Featured Article

By Marlin Edwards,
Chief Scientist

How many of you resolved to start the New Year by eating healthy? How is it going so far?

Despite our best intentions, research shows that the vast majority of resolutions are abandoned before Presidents’ Day.  Since it’s already late January, wouldn’t it be nice if our resolutions to eat better were easier for us to keep? Take heed, it’s not always your fault – sometimes the vegetables need to be more appealing!

That’s where my team comes in. Monsanto’s vegetable research team uses conventional plant breeding to develop vegetables that taste better, look better and minimize spoilage.  Instead of working harder to eat more vegetables this year, we’re working hard to make them tastier to eat. Our resolution each and every year is to make vegetables better and we’ve had some great successes over the years.

To make them better, we understand the various factors that impact the quality of vegetables, then breed the best possible characteristics that mother nature provides into the vegetables that reach our grocery stores, restaurants and plates.  Here are some of the recent advancements we’ve made to help you and your kids enjoy more vegetables:

  • In 2011, we introduced BellaFina baby bell peppers, sweet and crunchy peppers that are one-third the size of traditional peppers.  These little peppers help you to enjoy fresh peppers that reduce waste and stay fresh longer.
  • Also in 2011, we developed Melorange melons, which  are available in stores November through April and balance flavor and freshness better than traditional winter cantaloupes.  Traditionally, melons imported to the U.S. in the winter months were bred for longevity, and flavor suffered.  Currently, we’re applying learnings from melon breeding to develop better tomatoes that stay fresh longer while retaining great flavor.

What vegetables are toughest for you to eat and what improvements would you like to see?


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