This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor.
There is a front page piece in today's Washington Post about the demise of the red delicious apple. You know, the big red bulletproof apples that come complete with little nubs on the bottom to help them stand up and look pretty.
The article chronicles the apple's journey from an Iowa farmyard to the "king" of Washington State. The design changes that once made it popular and now, the backlash.
I will confess that I haven't eaten a red delicious in years. I remember a skin that was tough and waxy. The meat was too sweet. It wasn't a fruit, more of a model of an apple masquerading as a piece of fruit.
The apple morphed into its current state to meet the demands of stores which wanted the apple to have a better shelf life and eye appeal. Lo and behold, after all of these years, this demand is finally starting to fall off.
While the state of the American apple concerns me, of even greater concern is tomatoes.
I cannot tell you the last time that I bought a tomato in a store that tasted anything like the tomatoes that I used to pick at my uncle's farm. They don't smell the same, and the flavor isn't even close.
I was in an Italian restaurant this week and before I ordered the Caprese Salad, I asked the waiter about the tomatoes.
"Are they good?"
"They are fresh."
"No, are they good? Do they taste like homegrown?"
He just shook his head.
Beauty is only skin deep, especially with apples and tomatoes.
Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many across the country.
By Harry Smith
Copyright 2005 CBS. All rights reserved.