Wabi Sabi is a Japanese principle that everything is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete and appreciates things in their own natural simplicity. This concept is often used in design, but it’s a concept one can use in almost anything, even in looking at tomatoes.
If you’ve ever tasted a genetically modified tomato and an heirloom tomato, the contrast in flavor is indeed quite remarkable. One tomato looks perfect on the outside and tastes quite bland and flavorless on the inside. The other looks quite a mess on the outside, but is bursting with amazing flavor on the inside. So then comes the question, why are we so attracted to the perfect looking one, when its essence is so obviously deficient?
In such a face-paced world, there are obvious reasons that the perfect looking tomato has kept its place on the supermarket shelves and in restaurants. It’s less expensive, looks nicer, and might even last a bit longer. But there are times when one can see our shopping with this wabi sabi eye, and our taste buds will thank us for the thought.
The Bumblebee tomato shot by Brian Wetzstein is a beautiful example of the flawed beauty nature produces when undisturbed and allowed to grow. The tomatoes captured were all found at the Green City farmer’s market and are an example of the endless variety nature has to offer when cultivated with a sense of purity rather than commercialism. We should protect and admire that, as it may not be obvious at first glance, but the essence is the real treasure, especially to our taste buds.