Tomatoes

Tomatoes cut into pieces are edible: The edibility of tomatoes cut into pieces on the vine

The tomato is probably the most popular plant in our gardens. Since most of us have grown them, it’s not surprising that tomatoes are prone to their share of problems. One of the most common problems is cracked tomatoes on the vine. When this problem occurs, it is common to wonder about eating open tomatoes. Is it safe to eat crushed tomatoes? Let’s find out.

About crushed tomatoes on the vine

In general, broken tomatoes are caused by water fluctuations. Cracking occurs when it has been very dry and there are sudden thunderstorms. Of course, this is nature and there is not much to do except water the plants when it is very dry! So, yes, the crackling also happens when the gardener (I’m not pointing fingers!) neglects or forgets to water the tomato plants regularly, then suddenly remembers and floods them.

When this happens, the inside of the tomato feels a sudden urge to grow faster than the outside skin can support. This accelerated growth causes the tomatoes to split. Two types of cracks are visible on split tomatoes. One is concentric and rings around the end of the fruit stem. The other is generally more severe, with radial cracks extending along the length of the tomato from stem to sides.

Can we eat broken tomatoes?

Concentric cracks are usually minimal and often heal on their own, so yes, you can eat this type of cracked tomato. Radial cracks are usually deeper and can even split the fruit in half. These deeper wounds open the fruit to insect attack, as well as fungal and bacterial infections. None of these sounds are particularly appealing, so are these cracked tomatoes safe to eat?

If it appears that there is an infestation or infection, to be sure, I would probably throw the offending fruit into the compost. That said, if it seems minimal, you can eat open tomatoes, especially if the area around the crack is cut.

If you have crushed tomatoes, it’s better to eat them immediately if that’s what you plan to do, rather than leave them there. If you see a tomato that is starting to show signs of cracking, pick it up and let it finish ripening on the windowsill or counter. If you leave it on the vine, cracking will accelerate as the fruit continues to absorb water.

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