|Why I am anti-Lycopersicon
Tomatoes: The favorite food of occupiers
By Sharif N Mafi
January 18, 2003
Greek feta ....... $2.25
Ronzoni Spaghetti ....... $0.99
Marinated Olives ....... $2.50
Israeli Tomatoes ...... priceless
So here you have it Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give a loud applause to my local
grocery store which sells Israeli tomatoes. Most likely grown on some confiscated
land in Palestine supported by my 35-40% Federal, State, and City taxes I pay each
and every year.
It is rather fitting to this story that the history of tomatoes mirrors the events
today. Tomato after all was initially cultivated by Aztecs and Incas as early as
700 A.D. Europeans first saw the tomato when the Conquistadors reached Mexico and
Central America in the 16th century, got rid of the natives, occupied their land,
and sent the tomato seeds back to Europe and voila we have Bloody Mary without which
this self-effacing writer would have had many tedious Sundays.
Bang, push forward a few hundred years and we now have Israeli Tomatoes for $2.49
per Ib. Indeed this must be the favorite fruit of occupiers, let's not ever question
that. Botanically speaking, tomato is a fruit. This is because, generally, a fruit
is the edible part of the plant that contains the seeds, while a vegetable is the
edible stems, leaves, and roots of the plant.
Rest assured, I did call Fairway Market at 212-595-1888 and inquire about the geographic
origins of the tomatoes in question and expressed my reservation about these tomatoes
being from Occupied Palestinian land.
Additionally, I insisted that in case they decide to
continue selling the tomatoes in question, perhaps they should consider marketing
it as Israeli Nightshades. Tomatoes belong to the same family as nightshades, the
tomatoes deadly cousin.
The operator passed me over to the shift manager who in turn conferenced in the local
Upper West Side chapter representative of Anti-Defamation League, which in turn accused
me of being un-American and an anti-Semite.
Rubbish I replied. I have many Arab friends.
Public figures and/or entities used in this essay are portrayed for satirical
purposes only. The tomatoes in question and the occupation nevertheless are very
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