Although in Summer time tomatoes are juicy, sweet and tasty, in Winter time, they only seem to retain their colour. Because having appeared all year round in supermarket aisles (making us believe they could be all-season fruits), you can be disappointed to find that once you taste them, they are flavourless, acidic, and even without nutritional value. Not to mention the damage to the environment caused by growing them out of season. Here are 12 facts about Winter tomatoes that you may not know, which will make you want to boycott them from now on!
1/ Their acidity can harm your digestion
Tomato is an acidic fruit that doesn’t suit everyone’s digestive system. In Winter time, this acidity is higher again, making tomatoes even more difficult to digest, and meaning the body needs a huge amount of resources to process them. The icing on the cake is that the energy lost in processing the food is not made up for by its nutrients, as Winter tomatoes do not contain the vitamins and minerals they should. If you are stressed or suffering from joint pains, avoid salads with tomatoes in them during winter, as you will find them very difficult to digest. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that cooking them will solve the problem: the acidity rises with the heat from cooking.
2/ They have no nutritional value
Consuming seasonal fruit and veg is essential to staying in robust health. Seasonal foods provide essential vitamins that support your health, depending on the challenges of the season. Winter vegetables provide you with what you need to get through the cold weather without getting sick. Summer vegetables by contrast allow you to refresh and hydrate yourself. In short, each season has its own fruit and veg, and this didn’t happen by chance! Eating strawberries in Winter and squash in Summer doesn’t really provide you with the nutrition you need, especially as out-of-season fruit and veg are grown in artificial conditions and thus stripped of most of their beneficial properties.
3/ Growing Winter tomatoes has a significant impact on the environment
Tomatoes are not a Winter vegetable, as they need heat and light to grow, However, during Winter time, it is cold and darkness that reign supreme! They therefore need to be grown in greenhouses (or be imported by airplane), which requires a huge amount of water and energy. In the south of Spain, where Winter tomatoes are extremely common, it is necessary to drill 1500 m deep to access ground water due to droughts in the area. In short, Winter tomatoes can have a disastrous effect on the environment.
4/ Tomatoes that come from Spain are grown in an area called the “Sea of Plastic”
Tomatoes don’t grow in the UK in winter time, that’s a fact. Supermarkets thus often import their tomatoes from Spain and Morocco during the cold seasons, from giant greenhouses called the “sea of plastic”. The sea of plastic, which is believed to be visible from the sky, consists of over 200 km of greenhouses covered by enormous plastic sheeting to protect the much coveted fruit. The problem is that with the wind and intemperate climates, these are often destroyed and rapidly end up polluting the sea.
5/ If you buy imported tomatoes, you may unwittingly be contributing to human misery
There are no fewer than 80,000 clandestine immigrants working in dangerous and unhealthy conditions, who are payed a pittance for extremely hard work. This is what allows supermarkets to offer low cost tomatoes to those of us who want to eat tomatoes in Winter. Let’s stop supporting them!
6/ Because of drought, sea water is used to water Winter tomatoes
Because of droughts in Spain, factories are installed to remove salt from sea water in order to water the greenhouses. Removing salt from sea water requires huge quantities of energy, and the salt extracted is thrown directly back into the sea, which promotes coastal erosion and degradation of the flora and fauna.