Tomato Information: Introduction

Close your eyes and imagine walking out to your garden. You feel the warmth of the sun on your face and smell the freshly mown grass. Your pace quickens in anticipation of selecting a lush red sun-ripened tomato and your mouth waters as you feel the firm, warm fruit in your hand and smell the earthy aroma of your prize tomato vines.

Whether you give in to temptation and take a bite of the delicious home-grown tomato right then and there, or harvest a few to slice into a salad, you feel the satisfaction of a successful gardener and know that nothing the in supermarket can compare with the crop you are growing in your own back yard.

The tomatoes you find in your local market have been developed to be mass produced and able to maintain their shape during the long journey from the factory farms to the wholesaler and finally to your grocer’s shelves.

Drained of their vitality and nutrients, these imposter tomatoes can’t nourish or satisfy like your own home-grown tomatoes.

We have become used to the engineered and mass produced tomatoes but we don’t have to settle for the inferior produce any longer.

If you have the essential information, you too can be enjoying the juiciest, tastiest tomatoes this season. Tomatoes are grown in over 80 percent of home gardens and have been shown to be nutritious and beneficial to good health.

Brief History

The origins of the tomato have been traced to the Aztecs in South America. The tomato was distributed throughout the world following Spanish colonization.

Pomo d’oro or something else

The Italians call the tomato “pomo d’oro” or “golden apple” but in northern Europe and the United States, the tomato was thought to be poisonous and that eating a single raw tomato would cause instantaneous death. The tomato was called the stinking golden apple or wolf peach because .

In 1820, Colonel Robert Johnson ate a basketful of raw tomatoes in public and suffered no ill effect. This was the beginning of widespread growth of the tomato in the US.

Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

Yes!

According to botanical classification, a fruit is any structure of a plant that contains its seeds. So if you ask a botanist, they will say that the tomato is a fruit.

More commonly, in food preparation, fruits are sweet. For example apples, oranges, grapes, and strawberries. Structures that contain seeds but are not sweet are called vegetables. So if you ask a chef, the tomato is a vegetable.

The Supreme Court of the United States classified the tomato as a vegetable rather than a fruit. The Tariff Act of March 3, 1883 required a tax on imported vegetables but not fruit. After listening to arguments and looking at several dictionaries to see how fruits and vegetables were defined, the Supreme Court decided that the tomato was a vegetable and therefore subject to the tariff.

Tomato Nutrition

Tomatoes are now grown and eaten throughout the world. Eating tomatoes is believed to benefit the heart and other organs.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant. Some studies suggest that tomatoes help prevent prostate cancer.

Tomato consumption has been associated with:

  • Decreased risk of breast cancer,
  • Decreased risk of head and neck cancers,
  • Might protect against neurodegenerative diseases.

 

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