I've already given up out-of-season tomatoes. It's pretty easy given that the typical tomato tastes like water flavored water. But ultimately, I wonder if this is something we should hold consumers accountable for? I used to think consumer-education could be a solution, but now I feel like the vast majority of people are going to chow down on a factory-farmed McDonald's burger topped with an imported tomato no matter how many times Pollan is on the bestseller list.
Maybe I'm being pessimistic and a bad economics student, but I think import restrictions, which hold foreign farmers to our standards, are the unfortunate answer here.
Also: interesting econ aside
The presentation of a pricing policy clearly matters—something disconcerting to economists, who can translate all the pricing into mathematical equations and make the presentation go away. It seems to be acceptable to charge a higher markup for fair-trade coffee, organic bread, or lower-emissions gasoline. It is not acceptable for businesses to say, "We are such fans of exploitative coffee, pesticide-laced loaves, and dirtier gas that we're willing to discount them and accept a lower profit margin." Underneath the gloss, the pricing policies are, nevertheless, identical.