Tomato sprouts

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Tomato sprouts

Have you ever seen this?  You cut into a tomato and the seeds have sprouted inside!  When this first happened to me it creeped me out! After all the last thing you expect to see inside your tomato is something growing.  I suddenly felt like I was in some sci-fy movie where little aliens had done something weird to my food.

How does this happen??  Well here is a official explanation from Treehugger.com:
As creepy as it looks this isn’t all that uncommon. This may have happened with tomatoes you’ve bought in the past, or you have eaten an apple, pear, or peach with seeds sprouting inside. This condition is called vivipary, and it’s prone to happen in some tomato cultivar more than others.

Watch Tomato Vivipary Explanation

When the natural hormone, abscisic acid, is reduced in an overripe tomato the mature seeds can break dormancy and srout. The moist environment inside of a tomato allows the seedlings to grow for a while without drying out.
Normally it is not recommended to save tomato seeds from a commercially grown tomato because they’re hybrids, and you don’t know what they’ll taste like, but in this case the gardener says the tomatoes tasted fine.

According to my research this is what I found at: Wisegeek

Tomato sprouts generally develop from planted tomato seeds or from tomatoes that have decayed and released their seeds. It is not uncommon, however, to find tomato sprouts growing inside an intact tomato. Usually the gel around the tomato seeds inhibits any sprouting while the tomato is intact or even after the tomato has fallen to the ground and has decayed. The seeds are allowed to sprout only when conditions are favorable for growing tomatoes; for instance, the seeds will sprout in spring and not in winter. Sometimes, however, temperature fluctuations can lead to sprouts inside a tomato.
These tomato sprouts, along with tomato leaves and stems, have, for most part, been eschewed in cooking. Some cooks have successfully used them to add a distinctive tomato flavor to sauces and some other tomato dishes, but it should be noted that, in these cases, the stems and leaves are simmered for flavoring and are then removed; they are not eaten. The reason for this is that tomatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants. The leaves, stems and unripe fruits of many plants from this family are known to have toxic properties, and can cause health problems if they are eaten.

Here is the answer I found about eating the tomato with sprouts from Wiki answers:

The seeds of a tomato are inside it, and usually sprout after the tomato decays and the seeds can then germinate. 

Seeds can actually start to sprout inside the tomato if it is kept around long enough and at room temperature. Do not eat the sprouting seeds. The flesh of the tomato is probably OK, but it must be getting a bit old and the flavor might not be what you’d hope for. I’d toss it and get a fresher one. 

There may be a green leaf-like top on the tomato, this is part of the plant where it was attached to the vine. A tomato with one of those is perfectly edible – just pick off the piece, it will come away easily.




So in conclusion- some say not to eat them, some say do, it’s up to you!  As for us, we ate ours and survived!

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