The heirloom tomatoes always draw me in. The other produce in the grocery store all seems too perfect, like airbrushed models on the fashion mags. They are pretty to look at but seem to belong to another Universe. All those unblemished potatoes and the picture-perfect apples make me suspicious. What have these murderous models done with their imperfect siblings??

Now we know that companies like Imperfect Foods and the Misfits Market scoop them up and deliver them to people like me who don’t mind a few blemishes. And I do get 90% of the fruits and vegetables from my community-supported agriculture box from Farm Fresh to You. But when I need a couple more onions or bananas for muffins, I find myself sneaking down those produce aisles, wondering if I’m too imperfect to be there.

The heirloom tomatoes, though, they never let me down. They are oddly-shaped, weirdly-veined, and they make me feel at home. Approaching sixty now, I find myself oddly-shaped and weirdly-veined, too. I’m tempted to scoop up the whole lot of the heirlooms as a rescue mission….will anyone else select these freaks of nature that are surrounded by all the perfect-looking produce? These are progenies of plants that have survived across the decades, despite their fall from favor. I can’t bear to think of them being tossed in the trash.

Yes, yes, I realize other people must buy them, too; Von’s doesn’t carry these guys just for me. And the heirlooms can be pricey, too, so I summon all the restraint I possess. It’s not a lot and my face reddens from the effort, but I manage to select just the ones I’ll eat right away and leave the rest. For the next misfit shopper longing for a homely tomato therapy.

I know you’re out there.

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