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culinary tomato foliage???  RSS feed

 
Thekla McDaniels
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I'm interested if anyone else is eating tomato leaves, in what amounts, prepared how, any great recipes.

Seems like it was at least a year or more  ago that I read something on line about using tomato foliage in cooking.  I thought that was interesting, because like most people, I had been taught that as part of the night shade family, tomato leaves are poisonous.  And there are in deed, many plants in the family solanaceae with parts one seriously wants to avoid, kind of like eating unknown mushrooms, that Solanaceae family is one to watch out for!   

But I was at a friend's house last week, hungry, meal prep underway and someone carried in some just picked tomatoes, with a long streamer of very healthy lush leaves that had come along by accident.  They smelled great, as tomato leaves do.

I ate some.  YUM.  I did not die, because here I am.  I did not feel ill or anything else, and (trusting in my memory of what I had read)  I had eaten several leaves.

I've put a few links below, just to aid the interested in finding more information.

I would not make a whole salad of tomato greens, but as an addition to broth, I plan to go ahead.

What it tastes like:  think of a tomato, juicy and sweet, possibly with some acidity, depending on the variety. Take away the sweet, the juicy, the acidity, there is still something distinctive about a tomato.  (I would never mistake it for a peach)  That is what the foliage tastes like.

I think a lot of it is volatile oils, because of that cloud of tomato that surrounds me as I pick or weed or disturb the tomato plant.  Because of that, I don't think drying would do much to capture the flavor.  This year, I think I'll try making pesto (puree garlic, olive oil and tomato leaves) freeze the pesto, and use it in cooking.




http://www.gardenbetty.com/2013/08/tomato-leaves-the-toxic-myth/

http://www.thekitchn.com/fresh-tip-use-tomato-leaves-to-123288

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/dining/29curi.html?_r=0
 
Rebecca Norman
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:...They smelled great, as tomato leaves do.

I ate some.  YUM.


Seriously? Whoa! I always found the smell of tomato leaves unpleasant, and totally unlike tomatoes. My mind is blown, to think that you and many others think they smell good, and yummy. Hmm, I'll have to go out now and sniff my tomato plants with a newly open mind now.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Oh, yeah. 

And if you can get used to the smell, if might be another food for you, in that challenging climate!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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One of the articles referenced in the original post said, "While tomatoes do show a decline in tomatine content as they mature and ripen, no one has ever thought twice about devouring a heaping of fried green tomatoes or pickled green tomatoes!"

I just want to publicly announce that I do not allow any sort of alleged food into my body that is made out of green tomatoes. If something tastes poisonous to me, I figure that it's best to not be eating it. That's all the reason I need to never eat a tomato leaf: Tastes poisonous to me.





 
raven ranson
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My understanding is that there is a toxin in tomatoes that is somehow connected to chlorophyll.  Carol Deppe talks about it in her books The Tao of Gardening and Breed your own Vegetable.  I wasn't really paying attention because I can't stand the smell of tomato leaves, and they make my skin blister something fierce if I touch them, so I'm not putting them into my mouth.  So basically, I translated the information into general (and possibly inaccurate) ideas in my head that goes something like this:  Green part is toxic with some sort of alkaline that is not there when the fruit is ripe.  It can also be removed by cooking green tomatoes.  It can have nasty effects on the body.  Being a toxin, the dose determines the harm - so small doses may not be harmful and may even be beneficial - I don't know.  Leaves have more toxin than green fruit.  Different varieties have different levels of toxins, modern varieties probably have less due to modern tastes.  These toxins are useful to battle bugs and if the plant is stressed, it will have more of them.


Interesting idea, eating tomato leaves.  If one were to try it, I suspect cooking would be the way to go.  I also suspect that there are anti-nutrients in tomato leaves so long term eating may not go well, but perhaps as a flavour in soups or stir fry? 

I'm pretty predigest against the idea - like I said, blisters - so I would leave tomato leaves for a serious starvation situation where I've eaten all the other edible and marginally edible greens in the garden like weeds and bean leaves.

But, if you're interested in learning more, I think the two books I mentioned are a good start - your local library should have them.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Right here on this thread is the first time I've "met" anyone who did not LOVE the smell of tomato plants.  To me, and those I know and have discussed it with, the scent of tomato leaves is compelling and delicious.  I've never before "met" anyone who had adverse effects from just touching the leaf.  I do konw of people who do not eat any nightshade plants, which has always seems a tragic hardship, but the difference in how they feel is worth it to them.

So, perhaps this is one of those cases where some folks have a sensitivity bearing on toxic, life threatening, or dangerous to health and well being, and others, such as my self, lucky me- the same substance promotes well being.

My goats eat the tomato plants with gusto!

I might take a look at those books.  Thanks for the recommendation.
 
raven ranson
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Right here on this thread is the first time I've "met" anyone who did not LOVE the smell of tomato plants.  To me, and those I know and have discussed it with, the scent of tomato leaves is compelling and delicious.  I've never before "met" anyone who had adverse effects from just touching the leaf.  I do konw of people who do not eat any nightshade plants, which has always seems a tragic hardship, but the difference in how they feel is worth it to them.

So, perhaps this is one of those cases where some folks have a sensitivity bearing on toxic, life threatening, or dangerous to health and well being, and others, such as my self, lucky me- the same substance promotes well being.

My goats eat the tomato plants with gusto!

I might take a look at those books.  Thanks for the recommendation.


I'm really interested in your experience with the tomato leaves.  Please let us know all you find out.

I personally have a poor relationship with tomatoes, but that's true with most new world foods and me.  It's funny, some varieties give me blisters more than others - Wild Cherry tomato I can handle fine, with only a bit of tingle afterwards, money maker give me the worst blisters.  I don't know if it's an allergic reaction, or a reaction to the toxin... if it's the toxin, then I think different varieties must have different levels of this stuff in it.  Or maybe it's the stress levels of the plants.  Wild cherry don't care if it's drought or hot, whereas money maker want a very specific range to thrive.

If anyone knows, Carol Deppe does. 
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Your inquiry reminds me of this article I read recently.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Karen,

I saw that article too.  It's t he third one I posted at the start of the thread.

I thought it was pretty good, but as you see, so far there are more people who can't or don't think it si safe to eat them, than those than contributing recipes or stories.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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I see that you did include that one. Sorry for repeating.
Reading more about this online, I did also see a recipe for pesto using tomato leaves. It only used 1/3 cup along with 2 cups of basil in an otherwise traditional pesto. I would think the basil would still be the dominant flavor. I think I would pass on the tomato leaves. If you do try it, try only small amounts and let us know what you think.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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When referring to the Solanaceae family of plants, many people call it by its more common moniker, the nightshade family.

The Famous member of this family is the ominous “deadly nightshade,” also known as belladonna (Atropa belladonna).
This herbaceous perennial has historical use in herbal medicine as a pain reliever and muscle relaxer, and even as a beauty aid.
In fact, the name “bella donna” means beautiful lady in Italian.
It comes from the outdated practice of women putting drops of belladonna berry juice in their eyes to dilate their pupils; the look was considered attractive in the day.

Rest assured that though tomatoes are distantly related to belladonna, they do not contain the chemical compounds (atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine)  that make belladonna (especially its berries) so poisonous.
(many of the alkaloids common to other Solanum species are conspicuously absent in the tomato)

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) does have an interesting history.  The scientific name, lycopersicum, is Latin for “wolf peach” and derives from German folklore (werewolf mythology).
When the tomato was brought to Europe in the 16th century, people believed it to be poisonous like other members of the Solanaceae family, including belladonna, henbane and mandrake.
Legend had it that witches used these hallucinogenic plants in potions to conjure werewolves.
Since the tomato’s fruit looked so similar to that of belladonna, it was dubbed the wolf peach.

The hairs of the leaves of the tomato can be a fairly potent irritant as well as the odor of the plant affecting the respiratory system.
Other than those issues, there really aren't sound, medical or horticultural reasons to not cook and eat the leaves.
(that said, I find them more of an irritant and so use the stems and leaves for compost. Our hogs will refuse the stems and leaves but they eat every tomato we toss to them.)
(that one observation, that my hogs won't eat the leaves, is fairly powerful to my mind).

Redhawk
 
Bill Puckett
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I'm hungry for kale & tomato chips now.
 
David Livingston
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Tomatoes used to be called love apples because of there aphrodisiac qualities . I had not noticed this either . Many things in this world can be eaten eg nettle roots but that does not make them good eating in my opinion
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I don't like being brainwashed. Therefore, often times when I'm introduced to something that challenges my brainwashing, I'll conduct an experiment with myself to see how my brainwashing stands up to my actual experience. In this case, I have always believed that tomato plants are toxic to humans and animals.  RedHawk's observation that pigs don't eat tomato vines is akin to my family's tradition to never feed tomato vines to the livestock. Since my brainwashing was challenged by this thread, I went out to the garden and started putting tomato leaves into my mouth. I sampled 5 different species. Here's hoping that I don't get sick or die soon after posting this reply.

The leaves were hairy. I'm one of those guys that peels my peaches, and apricots, and hates picking green beans because of the hairs. So that was unpleasant to me.

I chewed on the leaves. They were fibrous. Too tough for my modern sensibilities to eat them in a salad.

The smell was not off-putting coming from a potential food. It wasn't pleasant either. I was just a smell made by a living being.

I made a wad of leaves, and chewed them up, and let them sit in my mouth for about 5 minutes. The taste was mild. They were not noticeably bitter, or sweet. They were incredibly salivatory, but I couldn't bring myself to swallow the juice.    In the future, I might use them medicinally if I ever need a large amount of human saliva for one of my projects. My mouth and tongue feel swollen, like I'm having an allergic reaction.

Perhaps cooking would help with some of the issues mentioned above? NOPE! The were just as fibrous and unpalatable cooked as they were fresh.

From an agronomic standpoint, the leaves are small, and would take a lot of labor to pick. I was picking the youngest, most tender leaves on the plant. I would expect older leaves to be even more fibrous and more hairy.

My conclusion is that the cultural brainwashing that I was raised with is accurate in regards to the unpalatability of tomato leaves.

----

Here's a photo of what a fruit of Solanum habrochaites looked like:





solanum-habrochaites-hairy-fruit.jpg
[Thumbnail for solanum-habrochaites-hairy-fruit.jpg]
Solanum habrochaites fruit
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Thanks for giving them the test Joseph.  The ones I ate were tender, and from a raised bed back yard garden plant, very lush.

I have not been to your farm, but I imagine it a little different.  Maybe the plants don't get as much water, and are more compact plants growing in more challenging conditions.  I think this could account for difference between your experience and mine. 

Is that possible?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I have not been to your farm, but I imagine it a little different.  Maybe the plants don't get as much water, and are more compact plants growing in more challenging conditions.  I think this could account for difference between your experience and mine. 


Do you eat the skin on a peach?

Many plants that are famous for being tender and delicious to eat in other areas are not that way in my garden. Kale, cauliflower, and broccoli are nasty bitter. Lettuce is only decent to eat for a few weeks. Radishes are so damned hot that they are unpalatable. I suppose that's due to a combination of alkaline soil, super-dry air, and full sunlight.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Joseph,

I don't really LIKE the skin on a peach, but do eat it out in the field...  It's much better if I rub the fuzz off.  I love the velvety skin on an apricot.    I eat a kiwi fruit whole, with that coarse fuzz on it.  But I can eat just about anything considered food, without difficulties. 

I should count my blessings I guess, but it is hard for me to understand that everyone isn't just the same.
 
Bill Puckett
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For the record, I've never eaten a radish flower I didn't like. Since I have several tomato plants with very little fruit out back, and some kale, I'll try making my chips and let everybody know how delicious they turn out. Maybe it will help that there's little fruit. The leaves probably still contain the good stuff. They were planted late. And tomatoes aren't used to producing edible vegetation and fruit, so I expect you must work up to that.
 
raven ranson
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From reading this thread, I'm wondering if the toxin is related to the variety and the amount of stress the plant has.  What's being described is very much like the difference between tomatoes that give huge puss blisters and ones that give me an irritating rash. 

Perhaps the more domesticated varieties given a soft and cushy life would have less of this toxin in them?  So your average kitchen garden tomato would have a great deal less toxin in it as it's never suffered nutrient, cold, heat, bug or drought stress.

Perhaps varieties that are more tolerant to a wide range of stresses, like the wild cherry tomatoes that do so well in my garden without water during our six months of drought, produce less toxin because they are less stressed?  Whereas modern varieties in my garden suffer major water stress, therefore have more unpleasantness in their leaves?

Perhaps tomatoes that evolved to live in places where there are bugs and unpredictable water, &c. produce considerably more toxin.

Perhaps this is the toxin that is neutralized through cooking?

Perhaps different people have different reactions to the toxin/substance?  I for one am sensitive to most new world foods, but my ancestors are European, so that might explain why I'm so sensitive to tomato greens.



This reminds me of the carrot top problem.  Back during WWI and WWII, the British government published information on what one can eat during starvation situations - these were given to the public.  One such during the first world war encouraged feeding rhubarb leaves to children, not knowing that it produces malnutrition and other problems.  A few weeks later, the advice was quickly rescinded.  They started doing more in-depth research about what greens people could eat to prevent starvation and malnutrition.  One of these research projects determined that carrot greens were toxic when included in the diet.  Which was true at the time.

However, the modern carrot is very different than the carrot of my grandparents.  Go back another generation to the late 1800s and the cookbooks suggest boiling carrots for a minimum of 1.5 hours (preferably two to four hours), until no longer crunchy.  A modern day carrot becomes no longer crunchy at about 10 minutes of boiling. 

Carrots of the past were very different than carrots of today.  That's why today we can eat carrot greens (in moderate amounts) without suffering the same ill effects they would have 80 years ago. 

Tomatoes are changing rapidly too.  Dredging my memory as to how they have changed, all I can remember is where I read about it - Carol Deppe!  She seems to adore tomatoes and knows all the science behind how they have changed over the years. 
 
David Livingston
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I am a little confused if plants are changing why do folks want heritage ones ?
 
raven ranson
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David Livingston wrote:I am a little confused if plants are changing why do folks want heritage ones ?


One of the big things that is changing is the flavour. 

I suspect there are two reasons for this.  First, it's difficult to create a plant that fits the industrial food system (machines, long transportation, rough treatment after harvest) AND tastes good.  Second, people's tastes are changing and the general public seems to want sweeter and more mild flavours.

Yet other people miss the flavours of their youth when a tomato tasted like a TOMATO and not like soggy cardboard.  I belong to the latter group and every year I buy a tomato from the store - only to spit it out and think how on earth is this the same thing I grow in my garden?
 
Shawn Harper
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R Ranson wrote:
David Livingston wrote:I am a little confused if plants are changing why do folks want heritage ones ?

Yet other people miss the flavours of their youth when a tomato tasted like a TOMATO and not like soggy cardboard.  I belong to the latter group and every year I buy a tomato from the store - only to spit it out and think how on earth is this the same thing I grow in my garden?


This is what got me into gardening. I literally can't stomach the gross veggies from the store. I love veggies, but not the store ones.
 
Chris Wells
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I've read a few recipes for tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce that call for one or two tomato leaves, chopped finely. I've tried this and I found the sauces tasted very fresh and alive... it was a worthy ingredient. I've also read that you can add a teaspoon of tomato leaf puree to a quart of canned tomatoes to make them taste garden fresh again. I have done this and was again pleased with the results.

For those who wish to experiment, I would try the leaves as an ingredient to see if you like the results. I've never tried eating one on its own, so I can't speak to that.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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David Livingston wrote:I am a little confused if plants are changing why do folks want heritage ones ?


I look at it this way, heritage tomatoes and other foods, be they plant or animal, were selected for over many generations to get what suited the farmers of the era.  When industrialization of food production developed, new varieties that withstood the industrialization process were selected for.  Long keepers, ability to withstand rough handlein took precedence over flavor, or other desired characteristics that are not a challenge in the home garden situation.  Hence the development of the newer varieties which people are complaining about, and preferring heirlooms to.

This was along about the time seed companies began selling lots of hybrids, because of the predictability of hybrids.  You get exactly one type of plant beraring one type of fruit.

I've noticed lately that some of the heirlooms are deteriorating in quality.  In particular, the Cherokee Purple I used to grow from seed were far superior to the tomatoes produced by plants I bought from the local nursery this year.  And this makes me think of Joseph and his land races.  Seems like he makes it pretty clear that his selection process is ongoing for his land race varieties.  If the selection process is no longer practiced, and the seed is saved from ANY Cherokee Purple, then I think the quality is going to deteriorate, and the uniformity and predictability are going to decrease.   This is also how the Cherokee Purple 20 or 30 generations out from a common source, being grown in different climates and being tended and selected by different growers are going to show some divergent evolution.

The maintenance of a variety requires ongoing investment of time and attention and a dedication to an identified outcome.  The quality of fruit born is going to change when the qualities selected for change.

 
Rez Zircon
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Do you eat the skin on a peach?

Ugh. No. *shudder*

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Many plants that are famous for being tender and delicious to eat in other areas are not that way in my garden. Kale, cauliflower, and broccoli are nasty bitter. Lettuce is only decent to eat for a few weeks. Radishes are so damned hot that they are unpalatable. I suppose that's due to a combination of alkaline soil, super-dry air, and full sunlight.


Had the same problem with broccoli in the SoCal desert. When it was still in heads, it was bitter, nasty, inedible, possibly suitable for poisoning your enemies but not for dinner. After it bolted and bloomed -- the little yellow flowers were sweet and delicious, eaten straight off the plant! I wonder if they could be dried and used as salad topping. Best thing I ever tasted off a broccoli plant.

Cauliflower was good (in fact the entire plant, leaves, roots, and all, was sweet and tasty) but I wonder if it's because it was growing up against the house and got afternoon shade. It also decided to be a perennial with roots like big ropes, they were still 1-2 inches thick ten feet from the plant, and covered with little nodules that looked and tasted exactly like the usually-eaten part. (Finally pulled it up because it was attracting swarms of mice. That's when I discovered it had roots to rival a tree.)

 
Brenda Balenger
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I've had frequent four-legged nibblers to my lush raised beds this summer.  They've topped the buds off the sunflowers, eaten all the leaves off the bean bushes, stunted my kale with their daily snacking, and sheered off the tops of the new potato foliage.  But those deer haven't touched the tomatoes, nor the tomato foliage.  (Truth be told, they haven't touched the fennel, either, nor the eggplant, nasturtiums, nor garlic.)

I only grow tomatoes because they are easy, good to give away, and their grand branching growth supports heaving clumps of large fruit, making me look as if I know what I'm doing in the garden.  I do not, really. 

I wouldn't eat a tomato in a sandwich on a dare.  I will not be attempting to consume tomato foliage.  I greatly dislike the smell of the foliage left on my skin after rummaging around for the ripe ones. 

Now if someone can figure out how to make all the acorns under my oak tree palatable, I might be interested.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Brenda Balenger wrote:

Now if someone can figure out how to make all the acorns under my oak tree palatable, I might be interested.


leach the tannins grind to flour  cook and flavor how ever suits you. 
 
Rez Zircon
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Brenda Balenger wrote:Now if someone can figure out how to make all the acorns under my oak tree palatable, I might be interested.


Acorn meal probably contributed to the extinction of some tribes of California Indians, due to early kidney failure. By the time whites arrived, some were in a state of teens raising children with few or no mature adults left. (There's an interesting journal from the early 1800s, used to be a copy in the Great Falls MT public library, that speaks of this.)
 
Rez Zircon
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I ate some.  YUM.  I did not die, because here I am.  I did not feel ill or anything else, and (trusting in my memory of what I had read)  I had eaten several leaves.


Well, I wouldn't.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatinase#Toxicity
"The LD50 value of tomatine when served intravenous is determined to be 18 mg/kg body weight." That's not very much, a few grains-of-salt worth.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=40185
Old article, the links are dead, but you might still find copies on archive.org

There is likely to be cumulative damage. You might be fine today and tomorrow, but years later develop some slow effect. Not all poisons work quickly. The disruption of calcium metabolism described in mice may cause serious issues over time, as this effectively mimics a parathyroid tumor (which can lead to all sorts of serious problems, like osteoporosis and cancer). Increased cell permeability is possibly a risk for infections and cancer (due to virus penetration that otherwise couldn't happen) plus disrupts the water balance.

Remember that just because a goat eats it doesn't mean it's safe for humans. Goats can eat a good many things that would kill most animals. Goats can also survive on eating nothing but old newspaper (and do so in the Saudi deserts).

Does sound like tea-of-tomato-leaf might be a good fungicide, tho. I wonder if it would work on cedar rust, which I've had no luck getting rid of.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Thanks for the input Rez.   Cumulative effect is an important consideration.  Seems most people are skeptical of tomato foliage.  Joseph, though skeptical even gave it a try and had an adverse reaction.

re:

"The LD50 value of tomatine when served intravenous is determined to be 18 mg/kg body weight." That's not very much, a few grains-of-salt worth."


I'm not disputing what you have posted, except to comment that the difference between  IV administration of a pure substance is far different than ingesting vegetation that contains trace amounts of the substance.  How much tomatine is there per gram of tomato leaf?  And at 60 kg, that LD 50 dose would be 1.08 grams, more than what I call a few grains of salt.

I am beginning to lose interest in doing any more eating of tomato leaves because why bother?  There is plenty to eat, and the idea that I might be being overly cautious is not outweighed by possible risk.  It's been great to have people to discuss it with, and I think I will read more about it all before I eat any more...

But they did taste good.   
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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The next morning, I experienced an interesting possible side-effect from sucking on the tomato leaves, so I tried them again, in a higher dose, and actually swallowed the juice. The leaves were as hairy and fibrous the second time around, so they got spat out. The flowers on a couple of the wild species were OK to nibble on.  The juice was not emetic. I was glad of that. Alas, the side-effect didn't re-manifest...
 
Thekla McDaniels
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wow, that's curious,no return of side effects even though you swallowed the juice.

 
David Livingston
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This assumes side effect was side effect and not just wishful thinking
 
Rez Zircon
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:And at 60 kg, that LD 50 dose would be 1.08 grams, more than what I call a few grains of salt.


A little less than 1/4 teaspoon, were it salt.

Another problem is that the amount of tomatine varies wildly:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15053555
(Fully-green tomatoes are not really safe either.)

Digestive absorption may depend on what else is in the gut.

Consider that anything which can cause a reaction, let alone blisters, on the relatively tough tissue of the skin -- can do a lot worse to the much less-tough tissue of the intestines. Chronic irritation is a factor in some cancers, notably colon cancer.

 
raven ranson
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Rez Zircon wrote:
Thekla McDaniels wrote:And at 60 kg, that LD 50 dose would be 1.08 grams, more than what I call a few grains of salt.


A little less than 1/4 teaspoon, were it salt.

Another problem is that the amount of tomatine varies wildly:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15053555
(Fully-green tomatoes are not really safe either.)

Digestive absorption may depend on what else is in the gut.




How do these substances change with cooking? 
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Boo hoo. No repeat of the possible side-effect, therefore no discovery of an amazing medicinal use for tomato leaves.

 
Rez Zircon
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R Ranson wrote:

How do these substances change with cooking? 


That's a good question... <goes off, roots around>

Interesting study -- adding cholesterol to larvae diet has a mitigating effect:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24271452
probably because it causes cholesterol deficiency:
http://www.jlr.org/content/12/4/482.full.pdf

(You need cholesterol to live. It's the foundation of hormones and is a major building block of cell walls and neural "insulation". Multiple sclerosis is basically catastrophic cholesterol deficiency at the neurological level. Or, why statins are evil.)

Well, I didn't find an answer offhand, but I'd guess cooking releases a lot more than eating 'em raw.

 
David Livingston
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Don't worry Joeseph I am sure there is someone out there who wil be foolish enough l ask you about your side effect but it's not me and no I don't want a picture of it either

David
 
Nick Watkins
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Solanum habrochaites


That reminds me of one of my volunteers, which developed wispy white hairs (which were exceedingly hard to capture on camera). I know you're not the biggest fan of tomatoes, Joseph; but to me this cross has excellent, sweet flavor and a fair split between meat and gel. Size is about a golf ball. Based on the flavor, I believe one of the parents was Yellow Rave, a hybrid I grew last year; and who-knows-what. I also grew Early Girl, Juliet hybrid, and Chocolate Cherry, but the genetics could be from anywhere in the neighborhood.


I wonder if your sensitivity for tasting the poisonous compounds in tomatoes is similar to the variations in brain chemistry that lead some people to interpret cilantro as a fresh and lime-y and others to taste soap and bleach. I was in the latter camp until I read about "training" your brain to like cilantro. I grew some and nibbled a little each day and it didn't take terribly long to really appreciate the flavor, which eventually developed to the point where I can't taste the soapy bleachiness at all.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Nick: Thanks for the photo of the fuzzy tomato fruit.  A couple growing seasons ago, I realized that I was a plant breeder, that was selecting for tomatoes without tasting them. That seemed wrong. Therefore I started tasting every tomato fruit before saving seeds from it. I still don't enjoy the taste of most tomatoes, but I'm at least taking the time to taste them as individual fruits, and not lumping them all together as BLECK!!! One thing that became quickly apparent when I started tasting tomatoes, is that the heritage-style tomatoes grown on my farm taste better than what can be obtained from the grocery store...



 
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