(ASSOCIATED PRESS) — VERONA, Wis. — There’s a good chance that many of the suddenly trendy vegetables that foodies latch on to in the next decade will benefit from research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While plant breeders at many public universities focus on improving field corn, soybeans and other crops used in food manufacturing or livestock feed, those in Madison want to produce better-tasting vegetables.
The university has long had ties to the vegetable processing industry, as Wisconsin is among the top two or three states in producing canned or frozen sweet corn, green beans and peas. But vegetable breeders say the local food movement has created additional opportunities with a boom in organic farms, farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants. The challenge is coming up with varieties consumers like, even if they can’t always articulate what makes one ear of corn better than another.