At the time my grandfather was engaging in a bit of comic hyperbole. These days he might be understating the case (Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland, from an NPR interview):
Yeah, it was in southwestern Florida a few years ago, and I was minding my own business, cruising along, and I saw this open-back truck, and it looked like it was loaded, as you said, with green apples.
And then I thought to myself wait, wait, apples don't grow in Florida. And as I pulled up behind it, I saw they were tomatoes, a whole truckload mounded over with perfectly green tomatoes, not a shade of pink or red in sight. As we were going along, we came to a construction site, the truck hit a bump, and three or four of these things flew off the truck.
They narrowly missed my windshield, but they did hit the pavement. They bounced a few times, and then they rolled onto the shoulder. None of them splattered. None of them even showed cracks. I mean, a modern-day industrial tomato has no problem with falling off a truck at 60 miles an hour on an interstate highway.
In addition to being tasteless, Estabrook also points out that compared to tomatoes from other sources or from a few decades ago, the modern Florida variety have fewer nutrients, more pesticides (particularly compared to those from California), and are picked with what has been described as 'slave labor' (and given the use of shackles this doesn't seem like much of an exaggeration).