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Old April 24, 2015   #1
NarnianGarden
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Default Tomato Leaf Pesto -yay or nay?

I was under the impression that tomato leaves / vines were toxic and should not be ingested, so great was my surprise when I cam across this recipe:
http://sustainableseedco.com/blog/re...to-leaf-pesto/
Granted, the amount is small. Still, it makes me wonder.. Tomato leave and vines are not something that I'd like to cook with.

This article tackles the same questions...
http://ask.metafilter.com/79079/How-...e-tomato-vines
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Old April 24, 2015   #2
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They are poison and I dont think these chefs should be doing it.
One thing leads to another and soon someone will put enough in to get really sick.

Worth
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Old April 24, 2015   #3
joseph
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There will not be any eating of tomato leaves in my household.
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Old April 24, 2015   #4
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I've read several recent references to eating the leaves. I always believed it was dicey, but others seem to highly recommend it:

http://www.rodalenews.com/research-f...ll-these-years

You know if you read it on the Internet, it has to be true; that's the law, isn't it?

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Old April 24, 2015   #5
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Well, after doing a quick search, I found the toxic chemicals in the leaves are solanidine, tomatidine, and solasonine. Exposing mice to these chemicals caused their liver weights to increase (I'm assuming this is a bad thing, meaning the liver is overworking to get rid of the toxins, or becoming damaged).
Here's one abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8613903

Here's another one noting that ingesting these compounds caused mice to miscarry during pregnancy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12453729

Here's the MSDS on solanidine: https://www.mpbio.com/includes/msds/...33-EN-ANSI.pdf

The toxicology discussion is in section 11 and notes that solanidine can cause nausea, vomiting, skin redness, edema, and in high doses, unconsciousness.

The lethal dosage is not determined. My guess is no one wants to volunteer to take a lethal dose of tomato leaves.

The MSDSs on the other 2 chemicals state they don't have enough information on how it affects humans to be able to discuss toxicology in detail.

So, I would not eat them.

Based on this admittedly very limited information, I would highly recommend that anyone who is pregnant or nursing definitely not eat tomato leaves or plant matter (except the tomatoes, of course), unless consulting with their OB or midwife first.
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Last edited by Tomato Beth; April 24, 2015 at 09:09 PM.
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Old April 24, 2015   #6
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It like poppies each variety has different amounts of opium.
At least I would guess.
Not worth it.
Rich tomato flavor my eye.
Worth
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Old April 25, 2015   #7
NarnianGarden
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So why would anyone want to try and cook with them? Given so many harmless leafy greens available, the risk doesn't seem justifiable. Novelty factor?
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Old April 25, 2015   #8
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Because its a "novelty". One of my friends eats them as an addition to salads or sandwiches, she likes the aroma, so uses them as any other aromatic plant. Personally I like he smell of tomato leaves too, but I'm no so adventurousI guess in a small amounts it will do nothing to you, if you are not allergic or with some liver problems.
Ok I have checked this and she is using them for the tomatina content. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19514731 So, kind of herbal use. You would have to eat 0,5kg to have the harmfull toxic level so I guess it's pretty safe.

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Old April 25, 2015   #9
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nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay
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Old April 26, 2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
There will not be any eating of tomato leaves in my household.

Joseph ... "Respect." Nobody is eating tomato leaves in my house either.
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Old April 26, 2015   #11
Sun City Linda
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Somebody posted here a couple years ago the recipe and their comments about how it tasted and more and then Corona Barb closed the thread, which seemed, to me to be a good idea.
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Old April 26, 2015   #12
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This would make for a good episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
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Old April 27, 2015   #13
Tomato Beth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
It like poppies each variety has different amounts of opium.
At least I would guess.
Not worth it.
Rich tomato flavor my eye.
Worth
Being part Lithuanian, it's practically required that I like poppy seeds in just about anything. Poppy seed bread--mmmmm!!.

All parts of poppies except the seeds are quite toxic. The California, Oriental, and Flanders poppies don't have edible seeds.

The only type of poppy that has edible seeds is the Breadseed poppy (papaver somniferum). Papaver somniferum also happens to be the species that is harvested in other parts of the world for opium. Note that using it for opium production in the US is highly illegal, but growing it for gardening/culinary purposes is legal. The one type of poppy used for opium production is not the kind that produces the most seeds. I want the seeds, so I grow Hungarian Blue and Giganteum. They make huge seed heads with lots of seeds. I comb through the seeds to make sure any other flower part hasn't slipped in. I don't want my poppy seed bread to be poisonous.
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Old April 27, 2015   #14
loeb
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Your bread won't go poisonous from that. But its still not so nice to find a piece of poppy wood in the bread There could be a problem if you would soak poppy seeds for too long in cool water, so they would start to sprout. Just slightly sprouted seeds can give nasty migreine for someone who is sensitive to that. Checked on myself, so now I'm boiling them instead of just soaking.. still love the poppyseed cake Anyway, varietes sound very nice, you have reminded me my childhood and all those poppy heads in autumn drying, kids were eating seeds straight from that.. So nice.
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Old April 27, 2015   #15
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The recipe author's web page is here: http://www.gardenbetty.com/contact/

She looks like more of a free spirit than a scientist, so not that she was thinking this, but what I was thinking was that antioxidants tend to bond with toxins and form compounds that are much less easily absorbed by the body. The garlic and olive oil in the recipe could contain the necessary antioxidants to do so. That's why the recipe doesn't make people sick...or at least that is just my guess.
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