Toxic? Is the green tomato drink a cancer risk?

Toxic? Is the green tomato drink a cancer risk?

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Solanin toxin: how dangerous is the green stalk on tomatoes?
When preparing tomatoes, everyone has already wondered whether the green stalk should be removed, and if so, why? Is this a myth that stubbornly persists or is there really something about the fact that the green should be cut off in tomatoes, since the poisons contained harm the health? Grandma already knew that strunk was cancer-causing! We clarify below.

Not all parts of the tomato are edible
Tomatoes are extremely popular with Germans. Professionals and amateur chefs use them to prepare delicious dishes such as sauces, soups or salads. Since tomatoes consist of around 90 percent water, they are particularly low in calories and therefore well suited for light cuisine. They also contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium and fiber as well as various other healthy phytonutrients. But not all parts of the delicious fruit are really edible. The tomato stalk contains the toxic substance solanine, which can lead to health problems.

Depending on the amount ingested, solanine can cause symptoms such as dizziness, headache, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, as well as scratching and burning in the throat. In a high dose of three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight, it can even be fatal. Even if red-fleshed tomatoes are actually green, they contain solanine.

Children especially should not eat unripe tomatoes. After the death of a 79-year-old man from Baden-Württemberg who died in his garden last year after eating a courgette with zucchini, health experts had warned the public and provided information on how to identify solanine or other potentially deadly bitter substances.

Cut away the stalk and green areas
Sven-David Müller, state-recognized dietician and diabetes consultant of the German Diabetes Association and chairman of the German Competence Center for Health Promotion and Dietetics in Cologne warned years ago:
"The stalk and other green areas should be cut off because they contain toxic solanine." However, the popular assumption that eating the tomato drink can cause cancer is a "food fairy tale". There is no scientific evidence for this.

According to the expert, large quantities of green tomatoes would have to be consumed in order to cause symptoms of intoxication. And even if not all parts have been removed accurately, there is no need to worry when preparing a tomato sauce: Solanin is heat-unstable. "About a third is lost when cooking, half is lost when roasting," explained the nutrition expert. (ad)

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