Those California berries are bioengineered to ship well and have a long shelf life – the are also very large, dry, and tasteless. I’ll wait for the small berries out of local patches right here in New Paltz – juicy, sun-ripened, sweet, and delicious.
But you are right: how the Hell do they grow and ship berries all the way across the country and sell them for $2/lb? The bigger question is why anyone would buy them…
How? The bioengineering that you mentioned, automation, and cheap labor. I read about these growing operations in farm magazines, and I’m amazed at the size. It is big, big business. I too prefer the local berries, and have posted about them in the past, but I think that these Calf berries are far better than cardboard, and I buy them on a regular basis. It is mid March, and this middle class guy is eating better than the president did just a couple of generations ago. I cook decent quality fresh veggies almost every night, and have not eaten canned or frozen in some time. Shipped in zuchinni is 99 cents a pound. I sell it for the same price (actually a dollar, and don’t make much) at farm markets in the summer. I bitch as much as the next guy, but life in the USA is good.