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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Health hazards of consuming rotten tomatoes 

By Maria Famakinwa
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Tomatoes according to findings are nutrient -dense super good that offers benefit to a range of bodily system. It’s nutritional cotent supports healthful skin, weight loss and heart health. They are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are also said to be a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, folate and Vitamin K.

 Aside these health benefits, tomatoes are one of the important ingredients to prepare a delicious meal that many people cannot do without but the recent warning by the Deputy Director of National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Mrs Christiana Essenwa against consumption of rotten tomatoes to forestall cancer and other diseases was a warning that anyone who cherish healthy and long life must adhered to. According to her, rotten tomatoes contain micro-organisms, mostly fungi which produces mycotoxins that are deadly, induce cancer and cause immune deficiency  in man and animals.

“Some people think rotten tomatoes which are cheap can be consumed after washing and heating, but should be told that the toxins cannot be washed or killed by heating because mycotoxins are heat resistant. So, it is better consumers keep off rotten tomatoes. It is better to spend money to prolong life than to use such money to buy death.”

A Dietitian Director, Mother and Child Hospital Akure, Mrs Aduni Adekolurejo while speaking with The Hope explained that the reasons for consuming tomatoes is the nutritional value which can only be derived from fresh tomatoes.”We eat tomatoes to get vitamins that enrich our healths, but if tomatoes are rotten, the vitamins are also rotten and have no nutritional value again.”

The Dietian Director further revealed that rotten tomatoes which are the choices of most consumers became they are cheap can cause different types of sickness and diseases due to the whitetish substances often find in rotten tomatoes which she referred to as fungi. “That is the major reason some people after eating will start vomiting or complaining of stomach upset due to bacterial infections in tomatoes they consumed.”

While advising the general public to desist from buying rotten tomatoes because they are cheap stressed that the bacterials and fungi in rotten tomatoes are heat resistant, that no matter how many hours used in cooking them, can still render havoc. “It is better to consume fresh tomatoes that are costly and enjoy good health than buying cheap rotten tomatoes of #500 and spend thousands while admitted in the hospital.”

The Hope visited the popular Oja -Oba market in Akure, the Ondo State capital and spoke with some tomatoes sellers and buyers to educate them and  get their opinions on the consumption of rotten tomatoes.

One of the tomato sellers at the market, Mrs Mosurat Orelope who also said that rotten tomatoes have health hazards because they harbour germs  revealed that 75 per cent of consumers prefer it to the fresh ones because they are cheaper and much. “No matter how rotten tomatoes are, buyers will always come for it.  What most consumers are after is the price and the quantity as the quality is not important to them.”

On why they shade rotten tomatoes for consumers instead of throwing them away said that selling them will help to reduce their lost. “Since we use our money to buy them, will must also make our money from it. Once the quantity is more than the fresh tomatoes, customers will be rushing to buy it. Even if you did not have rotten tomatoes, consumers will still ask for it. Not because they like it more than the fresh ones, but because it is much and cheaper when compared to fresh tomatoes yet, it is advisable to buy fresh tomatoes to enjoy all the health benefits”.

A woman sighted buying rotten tomatoes in the market when approached  gave her name as Wuraola and explained that she opted for rotten tomatoes despite knowing that fresh ones are better but due her large family. “Rotten tomatoes are cheaper and can take care of my large family. Rotten tomatoes of #500 will be sold for #1000 or more if am to buy the fresh ones.”

When told that rotten tomatoes contains fungi which causes cancer and other deadly diseases that cannot be washed or killed through heating said,”There is nothing I can do in this situation that I find myself. The immediate needs of my family must be met. Many women like me we prefer the cheaper tomatoes to the fresh ones that are costly. That is why we are appealing to the Federal Government to address the economic challenges facing ordinary people in this country so that we can get money to buy what we improve our healths.

“I need not to be told that fresh tomatoes are better than the rotten ones, but that is what I can afford fot now and I believe that God will continue to protect myself and my family against any disease. There are many  Nigerians who do not have money to buy anything to eat as we speak talk less of coming to the market for shopping. If the economy improve, every aspect of our lives will also improve positively.”

 In the submission of a canteen owner, Mrs Ebun Babatunde explained that her experience in the business over the years has taught her never to buy rotten tomatoes for cooking because they make the taste of soup sour. “As you can see for yourself, I always have three baskets of fresh tomatoes here that will serve me for a week and go back to the market for another three baskets which has been my usual practice. I cannot buy rotten tomatoes because it affects the taste of soup which may make me loose my customers to other food sellers since the business is somehow competitive.

“Once am back from the market, I spread the tomatoes on the floor for fresh air to preserve them from rotten. Aside the fact that rotten tomatoes change the taste of soup, they can as well affect our health because most of them harbour fungi and give bad smell. We do tell ourselves during food sellers meeting to avoid using rotten tomatoes to cook.”

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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