This is one of the most consumed foods in the world. Raw in salads or cooked to enhance various recipes, stuffed, sauteed or baked, the tomato is the big star among greengrocers. Although it can be found in most kitchens, many cannot tell if it is no longer healthy to eat. Therefore, to preserve your health and protect yourself from food poisoning, it is important to watch for certain signs that will help you determine if your tomatoes are moldy. Here are some tips on when to throw them away.

How do you know if tomatoes are no longer edible?

Cooked as a vegetable, but considered fruit in the plant world, the tomato is grown and consumed all over the world. In fact, it is a true pillar of Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, it is a very healthy food, especially due to its high content of lycopene (carotenoid pigment), vitamin C and potassium. It is therefore known to easily eliminate bad fats and reduce high blood pressure.

However, we must be very careful because a tomato in bad condition could harm our health. But just touching it is not enough to judge its condition. Various signals can tell you that it is no longer fit for consumption and should be thrown away immediately. Here are the most important ones:

  • The color and smell of tomatoes

The coloring is crucial in determining whether it is in good condition or not. Its skin should always be red, without stains or discoloration. If the tomato smells musty or has a strange , strong, unpleasant odor, it is time to throw it away.

  • Its appearance and texture

If you notice blemishes like sunken spots or cracks and even see mold stains, that’s evidence that it contains bacteria and should be discarded immediately. Also, if you cut it in half, make sure it’s not slimy inside with moldy spots. If it smells bad or the color is suspicious, it must be discarded.

  • Its ripening

If you take the tomato in your hand and it starts flowing without even being squeezed, it means that it is overripe, and the taste is not very pleasant.

Note: If you pay careful attention to all these signs, you can avoid a variety of health problems that can range from simple stomach aches to severe food poisoning.

How to prevent tomatoes from becoming overripe?

To prevent your tomatoes from ripening too quickly, start when you buy them at the market. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Their skin should be even and smooth, without bruises or too deep cracks.
  • They should be a bright red color with no pale spots near the stem.
  • Your tomatoes should also be free of bruises, cracks or excessively soft spots.

When to plant tomatoes?

Do you want to grow as many tomatoes as you want at home? Good idea! Also learn that this planting is not complicated. Tomatoes are easy to grow from seeds sown indoors in warm conditions. Sowing is done around the end of February to mid-March if you grow your crop in the greenhouse, or around the end of March to early April if you grow them outdoors.

How do you harvest tomato seeds?

Here are the steps you need to follow to the letter.

Step 1: Choose a perfect tomato

As the saying goes, the best fruits produce the best seeds. Allow your tomatoes to fully ripen on the stem and choose a large, spotless variety with uniform shape and beautiful color.

Step 2: Wash and cut the tomato

Good hygiene will give you the best seeds possible. Wash the tomato thoroughly and let it air dry. Then cut it in half down the middle.

Step 3: Remove the seeds

Using a small spoon or simply your fingers, carefully remove the seeds from the cavities of the tomato and place them in a small jar. They will be covered with a gelatinous material. The pulp and liquid will likely end up in the jar as well. Rest assured, the mixture of seeds and pulp is perfect for fermentation.

Step 4: Cover the jar and let it ferment

Cover the jar with a paper towel or coffee filter secured with a rubber band. If you are storing more than one type of tomato seed, label each jar. Leave them in a warm place, ideally between 60 and 70 °F, for three days.

Step 5: Stir the mixture once a day

Gently stir the mixture daily to loosen the gelatinous material around the tomato seeds. Don’t be surprised if a white fungus appears on the mixture after a few days. This mushroom is useful for soaking up jelly and preparing seeds for storage.

Step 6: Separate the seeds from the pulp

After three days, fill the jar with lukewarm water and let the seeds settle at the bottom of the container. Then carefully pour in the water with the tomato paste and floating seeds. Viable seeds are always heavier and therefore will fall to the bottom of the jar. Repeat this process until the water that comes out is almost clear.

Step 7: Dry the seeds

Then pour the seeds into a colander and let the excess water drip off. Spread the seeds on a paper plate or newspaper. Let them dry in this way for several days at room temperature in a well-ventilated place. Stir them daily with your fingers to separate them and promote even drying.

Step 8: Store the seeds in a cool, dry place

Place the dry seeds in a labeled container or bag. The best place to store them should be cool, dry and dark, such as a closet. Learn that seeds do not need to be refrigerated.

What is the lifespan of a tomato plant?

Generally, tomato plants live only about 6 months. They thrive and grow best in the spring and summer. But be careful, there is a risk that they will die as soon as the temperature drops and the first winter frosts.