Mike Parker

Two Things You Cannot Buy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 9:40 AM
Health
Food Safety
Food Handler Classes

They say, ‘Money talks,’ and ‘Money never sleeps.’ There’s a lot you can do with money, but as the old saying goes, ‘There’s two things money can’t buy—Love… and a home-grown tomato.’

The tomato, which is native to Central and South America, was first introduced to European cuisine by the Spanish, although many of their neighbors in France and northern Europe feared the luscious fruit to be poisonous and refused to eat it. Their assumption is understandable. The tomato is a member of the deadly nightshade family, and its acidic juice had a caustic reaction with pewter plates which were common in those days.

Fortunately, today we know the immense health benefits of this berry, which is botanically a fruit but is commonly considered a culinary vegetable because of its lower sugar content than most culinary fruits. That’s one reason tomatoes are more likely to be served as part of a salad than as part of a dessert. Did we say they are good for you? Oh, yes! Tomatoes are a primary dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, in addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Low in carbs, and high in fiber, Tomatoes and tomato-based products have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, and improved skin health.

Tomatoes come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. And the best news—tomatoes are relatively easy to grow in a home garden, or even as a container plant. So just about anyone can enjoy the bliss of a home-grown tomato.