Is Raw Food Alive?

Keep in mind watching this that our stomachs produce gastric acids and other compounds that help digest food along with our fermenting microbial friends. And that heating can change the chemical structure of foods trading one thing for another, for better or worse, and more often than not it’s probably the latter. Cooking also leaches or evaporates a certain amount of nutrients. However like drying food, cooking can also concentrate nutrient in the portions we eat due to reduced water content. Food is complicated.

What the video doesn’t cover however is that raw food surfaces are also covered in living microorganisms that studies have shown don’t completely wash off, even after sterilisation attempts. Endophytes also live inside plants and may contribute to the digestive microbiome. One study mentioned by Christopher Lowry below showed spinach has over 800 endophyte species. Cooking not only kills the plants but also these microorganisms that may be acting as probiotics.

Breeding to Restore Tomato Flavour

“We wanted to identify why modern tomato varieties are deficient in those flavor chemicals,” Klee said. “It’s because they have lost the more desirable alleles of a number of genes.”

Scientists then identified the locations of the good alleles in the tomato genome, he said. That required what’s called a genome-wide assessment study. There, scientists mapped genes that control synthesis of all the important chemicals. Once they found them, they used genetic analysis to replace bad alleles in modern tomato varieties with the good alleles, Klee said.

Because breeding takes time, and the scientists are studying five or more genes, Klee said the genetic traits from his latest study may take three to four years to produce in new tomato varieties.

This technique involves classical genetics, not genetic modification. “We can make the supermarket tomato taste noticeably better.”

UF-led team discovers key to restoring great tomato flavor