Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more satisfying to me at this point in my life than going out on to my porch, plucking a ripe, heirloom tomato, slicing it up, and eating it.
To be honest, because of the incessant rain and not enough protection, they aren’t as fabulous as last seasons, which were truly incandescent. These are ever so slightly mealy, which could be from the overwater or could also be because we left them on the vine a wee bit too long. Either way, they are drastically better than any store-bought ‘maters, and are satisfying to boot. We know better for next time.
So what’s so great about tomatoes?
Tomatoes are, as most people know, an incredibly good source of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that kicks some free radical (cancer and pre-cancer) cell tushy . Known for it’s effectiveness in fighting prostate cancer, it is also highly effective in fighting cervical, stomach, rectum, pharynx and esophageal cancers. The redder the (organic, local) tomato. Cook them for an 8% increase in bioabsorbability of tomatoes.
One tomato provides about 40% of daily vitamin C requirements, with less than 30% of the sugar of an orange. It also has 30% of required Vitamin A, and a lil bit of iron for good measure.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, good for your heart. In a study of 40,000 women performed at a Boston Hospital, those who consumed 7-10 servings each week of tomato-based products were fond to have a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women eating less than 1.5 servings of tomato products weekly.
Like variety? There are between 10,000 and 25,000 different varieties of tomatoes. Guaranteed, you will find a variety not only to fit your taste and aesthetic desire, as well as climate and circumstance.
That being said, tomatoes from the grocery store rank 19th out of 47 for pesticide contamination, which could be worse, but could be a lot better. Not to mention, tomatoes often travel thousands of miles to get to our grocery stores so we can have pico de gallo in December (well, in the States, that is. Here in Australia, December is peak growing season!) So, stick to local, fresh grown tomatoes for best taste (by far) and least environmental impact.
Well, hope all the Americans like the peak into our summer, and the Australians enjoy more gratuitous photos of your neighbors tomatoes.