Blue Strawberries Make Me See Red

strawberrySo here's something I didn't ask for: Blue strawberries. What if scientists found a way to genetically engineer a strawberry that turns blue? You might say "no thank you," because we already have that -- it's called a blueberry. 

Okay, to be fair, the strawberry isn't getting Frankensteined for the color. The "blue strawberry" is a nickname for a plant engineered to withstand freezing temperatures. Neat trick? I guess... until you find what they used to pull it off. Hint: They didn't inject the berries with antifreeze, but close.

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No antifreeze, but scientists are experimenting with splicing a gene from an Arctic Flounder Fish with the genes of a strawberry. Arctic Flounder Fish make their own fishy-antifreeze, which helps them survive in icy Arctic waters. Scientists found that when they combined those fish genes the strawberry plants could withstand freezing temperatures. And you could freeze the strawberries without making the berries go mushy when they defrost. (And by the way, they probably won't actually be blue.)

I suppose there are people out there who think this is just super. I think is sucks. To me it's just one more reminder of how far away we're getting from real food. You know what the best part of a strawberry is? PEAK SEASON. I think it's magical and amazing that strawberries are at their sweetest and most flavorful when they're plucked in high season as close to your home as possible. (Note to self: Remember to buy strawberry plants for garden.) And there is no substitute for that, period.

Oh sure, I'll sometimes eat giant, starchy strawberries shipped from California and Florida in the middle of winter. But what I like even better are jams and frozen berries preserved at the height of their tangy berryness. So keep your weird, genetically-tinkered Frankenberries. I hope they're a flop. I'm sticking with the real thing.

What do you think of so-called blue strawberries?

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Image via Clearly Ambiguous/Flickr

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