Tomatoes are among the most popular and most consume fruits in the world. They are grown and eaten around the world and used in many different ways such as salads, and processed into tomato soup or ketchup.
Here are some amusing facts about the juicy and healthy tomato. Health benefits and health risks of tomatoes are also included.
1.) The Largest Single Tomato Tree in the World
The massive "tomato tree" growing inside the Walt Disney World Resort’s experimental greenhouses in Lake Buena Vista in Florida, USA is regarded as the “World’s largest single tomato plant”. It is recognized as a Guinness World Record Holder, with a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and a total weight of 522 k. The vine grows golf ball-sized tomatoes which are served at Walt Disney World restaurants.
2.) The Heaviest Tomato Ever
The “world’s heaviest tomato ever” was the cultivar “Delicious” grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma, USA in 1986. The tomato fruit weighed 3.51 kg.
3.) The Largest Tomato Plant
The “world’s largest tomato plant grown” was of the cultivar 'Sun Gold' grown by Nutriculture Ltd of Mawdesley, Lancashire in the UK in 2000. The tomato plant reached a length of 19.8 meters.
4.) The Most Popular and Extravagant Tomato Festival
The “world’s most popular tomato festival” is the “La Tomatina” of Buñol, Valencia, Spain. Tomatina Festival is held every last Wednesday of August. In the 2007 celebration, 40,000 Spaniards gathered in the town of Buñol and thrown 115,000 kilograms of tomatoes at each other.
5.) The Birthplace of the Tomato
Reynoldsburg City in Ohio, USA calls itself "The Birthplace of the Tomato", claiming the first commercial variety of tomato was bred there in the 19th century.
Other interesting facts about the tomato…
6.) Watch your dogs. It was found out that tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material.
7.) Tomatoes can be deadly to humans too. On October 30, 2006, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced tomatoes might have been the source of a salmonellosis outbreak causing 172 illnesses in 18 states. Tomatoes have been linked to seven salmonella outbreaks since 1990
8.) The Aztecs called the fruit ‘xitomatl’ which means 'plump thing with a navel' while the Nahuas called it ‘tomatl’ which literally means "the swelling fruit". It is where the Europeans derived the name "tomato".
9.) Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Tomatoes, like eggplants, cucumbers and squashes, are botanically fruits, yet cooked as vegetables.
10.) Tomato leaves and stems contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the poisonous alkaloid tomatine.
11.) Tomatoes contain the carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer,
12.) Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene in the diet. Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases.
13.) Tomatoes and tomato sauces and puree are said to help lower urinary tract symptoms and may have anticancer properties.
14.) China is the world’s top producer of tomatoes producing more than 33.8 million tonnes annually followed by the US with 12.5 tonnes.