Re: [gardeners] tomatine?

Liz Albrook (
Fri, 10 Apr 1998 14:24:35 +0000

Margaret Lauterbach <> wrote:

> I've talked to Kay about this before, and I'm hoping she'll chime in
> here. A friend told me he had seen discussion of the green on
> potatoes (solanine), in which one of the writers mentioned a toxic
> substance in green tomatoes as well.  I just received a copy in the
> mail, and it's from the "solutions" section of Organic Gardening,
> Nov/Dec., '97 issue.  OG quotes Dr. Rod Bushway, professor of food
> science at the U. of Maine, as saying "Green tomatoes contain a
> glycoalkaloid called tomatine, which disappears as the tomato
> ripens."  (there is also a recommendation that you not trim away the
> green and eat the rest of the potato, but discard the whole thing to
> be safe.)  Any reactions?  Margaret

Yeah -- all those black Russian tomatoes are black because the stuff 
that makes them green doesn't go away.  In other words, the reason 
they are black is that red + green = black in the world of light.  
Now I don't know if he's talking about the same stuff or if he says 
it's toxic, but at least you, me and Catharine are still alive after 
eating those black tomatoes.  I reckon you know that the reason 
"pink" tomatoes are pink is because there's no pigment in the skins.  
I think most yellow tomatoes are yellow in order to warn people that 
the taste, like the color, is washed out.