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Old 10-13-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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Tomatoes and Potatoes, hazard to your health?

I was perusing through a group of plants called nightshades. I knew that tomatoes and potatotes belonged to this group, as does the famous poison, belladonna. but I was surpized to learn that a host of veggies we love and consume, including tomatoes and potatoes, have significant health hazards when used improperly.

The problem it seems, is with a group of four chemical compounds called alkaloids. These do everything from disrupting the nervous system, to leaching calcium and minerals from bones and joints, causing, or exacerbating arthritic conditions. Now I'm not saying that eating foods from the nightshade family is going to harm you. But it seems that they must be used correctly, and when fully ripened.

Google and you will find significant, documented information about these foods. They include; eggplant; green, sweet, and hot peppers; potatoes; and tomatoes to name a few. There are many others too.

I think it's worth looking into. I will still eat these foods, but will prepare them with more care than I have in the past.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
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I was made aware of the calcium leeching effects of nightshades years ago when I dabbled with macrobiotics. Later, at a cooking class, the instructor pointed out that many traditional recipes call for nightshades to be prepared with dairy: eggplant parm, mashed potatoes with cream/milk, the many tomato dishes that include cheese, and so on. Her idea was that these dishes came to be to offset the nightshades' effects by providing calcium rich ingredients.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
I was perusing through a group of plants called nightshades. I knew that tomatoes and potatotes belonged to this group, as does the famous poison, belladonna. but I was surpized to learn that a host of veggies we love and consume, including tomatoes and potatoes, have significant health hazards when used improperly.

The problem it seems, is with a group of four chemical compounds called alkaloids. These do everything from disrupting the nervous system, to leaching calcium and minerals from bones and joints, causing, or exacerbating arthritic conditions. Now I'm not saying that eating foods from the nightshade family is going to harm you. But it seems that they must be used correctly, and when fully ripened.

Google and you will find significant, documented information about these foods. They include; eggplant; green, sweet, and hot peppers; potatoes; and tomatoes to name a few. There are many others too.

I think it's worth looking into. I will still eat these foods, but will prepare them with more care than I have in the past.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

>>and when fully ripened.
a tomato is fully ripe when green. when it turns red, it is decomposing.
are you saying we should only eat rotting fruit?

>>I think it's worth looking into.
absolutely. I'd suggest doing that before propagating the fluffly-nutter's half truths.

for example raw lima beans are poisonous - go research it and then report how "fully truthful" the statement is.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillbert View Post
>>and when fully ripened.
a tomato is fully ripe when green. when it turns red, it is decomposing.
are you saying we should only eat rotting fruit?

>>I think it's worth looking into.
absolutely. I'd suggest doing that before propagating the fluffly-nutter's half truths.

for example raw lima beans are poisonous - go research it and then report how "fully truthful" the statement is.
Except for certain green striped, or specially colored heirloom tomatoes, a tomato is considered ripe when it has matured sufficiently to fully develop the texture and flavors derived from various isoflavones and phyto-chemicals(which also give the tomato its distinctive red color). A ripe tomato should have at the very least, a pink blush while still growing on the vine. Picking prior to this color stage halts the natural chemical compound formations taking place in the ripening fruit. Also, a green tomato had not yet realized its full nutrient potential. Beyond the firm, red fruit stage, that is, when the tomato begins to soften, it is decomposing from natural enzymatic action and will become meally and lose much of its flavor, indeed, taking on alternate, unapeeling flavors that instensify as this process continues.

That aside, a red tomato does not always denote a fully ripe tomato, as the coloration can be forced in an unripe fruit. But a green tomato is a sure sign that the tomato is not yet fully ripened, except in the afore mentionsed specialized varieties.

As a point of fact, raw lima beans are poisonous do to cyanide compounds found in the seed (the part we eat). However, there are varieties that are low enough in these compounds to be safely eaten. Many countries, including the U.S., restrict the sale of lima beans to those naturally low in the cyanide compounds. There are strict importation laws governing that product due to the cyanide content found in many varities. But in many third world contries, unless properly cooked by boiling, eating raw lima beans can be deadly. I give you the following references:

www.foodreference.com/html/flimabeans.html

www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts8.html

www.immunocapinvitrosight.com/dia_templates/ImmunoCAP/Allergen____33083.aspx

And there are many more. If you had read my post carefully, you would have realized that I was not proposing that edible members of the nightshade family be eliminated from the diet, but that care should be taken in the preperation of these foods. That same research you sugest that I undertake clearly shows that the humble potato, when exposed to light, develops chlorophyll, which is a healthy substance, but is also an indicator that the potato has produced significant amounts of alkaoid compounds, as does any sprouting on the tuber. All such areas should be removed from that potato; and individuals who may have existing conditions of arthritis, or calcium deficiency, should discard those potatoes. The same is true of the other edible members of the nightshades. Of course eating a ripe, green tomato, or fully ripe green pepper isn't going to cause harm. But there are stages in the fruit's development where dietary use of the plant is not a good idea.

What I am saying is that this is something people should be aware of. There are a host of doctors and nutritionists that state that nightshade foods should be treated with respect, or even that they shouldn't be eaten at all. But most say that proper preperation is a good practice, and ballancing the plants with protiens is a good idea.

If you knew me better, you would know that I am not one to spout misinformation, or distribute half-baked quasi-truths. I research before I post. And I am on very good terms with several local nutritionists, of whom I ask numerous questions. I enjoy knowledge. And just like research into Acai berry products let me know that distributors of these products are basicall selling snake oil, research also informs me when I need to be careful with something.

I love mushroom hunting. But if I haven't done the research to absolutely identify a particular species beyond question, I won't touch it. I also have done enough research to know which fish are safe to eat, and which contain the highest levels of heavy metal, and chemical contaminants.

I also know that ozmium is arguably the most dense, naturally occuring element known, and is used in alloys where density and hardness are required. The alloy is also used as the ball in most ball point pens.

Want to talk aerogels, or how about the isnulating properties of ceramics, or the effect of material expansion due to heat. How about dissimilar metals and corrosion?

Before you call me out, look closely at what I have typed. If there is an error, provide references, and if possible, documentation. I am indeed human, and have been known to make mistakes. And I will continue to make mistakes. Just don't accuse me of propagating half-truths, or of knee-jerk reactions. I try to give accurate information. If you have valid info to add, or intelligent argument, then I gladly welcome that. If I am wrong about something, I am grateful when I am corrected. I want truth and knowledge, not wives tales.

If I have misread your tone, or intent, then I apologize. But you did seem condecending in your post. I will give you respect. Please to the same for me.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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I think the issue GW is with your title. You are making it seem like tomatoes and potatoes are very dangerous, when in fact they really are not. How many people every day eat tomatoes and potatoes and never have a single issue? Yes they are members of the nightshade family, but without knowing a single fact about tomatoes or potatoes people eat them every day in the millions and do not have a single issue. This thread almost seems like fear mongering because you are trying to install a sense of fear in people when there really is not need for one.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:57 AM   #6
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I've been doing some online reading just now, and have been wondering about this connection of green (unripe) tomatoes and arthritis pain. It's really is making me wonder, and I'm finding this helpful. This is why:
I discovered last year in cooking school, that I have osteopenia and arthritis. it came about because I was having difficulty with my feet, one in particular, and had trouble standing. I got better shoes (Dansko pros) and have been careful with my feet. Things have gotten better.
Until lately. As I sit here, I am in pain. The only thing I've really done differently lately, is the abundance of fried green tomatoes in my diet.
hmmm.....
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
I think the issue GW is with your title. You are making it seem like tomatoes and potatoes are very dangerous, when in fact they really are not. How many people every day eat tomatoes and potatoes and never have a single issue? Yes they are members of the nightshade family, but without knowing a single fact about tomatoes or potatoes people eat them every day in the millions and do not have a single issue. This thread almost seems like fear mongering because you are trying to install a sense of fear in people when there really is not need for one.
As I look at the title, it does smack of sensationalism, which was not my intent. Feel free to change the title to something more appropriate. I was tired last night, and maybe a bit out of sorts when I responded to Dilbert. I may have come on too strong, and for that, Mr. Dilbert, if you are reading this, I apologize. But please, If I'm wrong about something, don't be condescending. Bring facts to the table. I, and most people are willing to be corrected, if facts and arguments are well presented.

Much study needs to be done concerning nutrition, and what is safe and not safe for us to eat. And I am certainly not at the forefront of nutritional research. I do believe though, as do many others, that diet plays a much more important role in our overall physical health than many of us would have believed ten years ago, and that poor diet, born of ignorance, is at least partially responsible for the dramtic rise of allergies, diabeties, arthritis, demetia, and possibly nervous disorders, not to mention digestive disorders.

Our bodies are so complex. There are so many processes going on, that we dont' even suspect, and we have no clue how many of them take place. It can be staggering to think of how little we truly know about ourselves.

Maybe one day we will understand our bodies better. But until then, we need to do everything we can to maintain what we have. There was a time when I heard Arnold Schwartzeneger state that highly processed flour and grains will kill you. At the time I laughed it off and though the man was rediculous. As a diabetic, I'm not laughing anymore. And I watched the daughter fo a freind die all to early from severe arthritic complilcations. Adn we won't even go into the misery of people who suffer from chronic conditions such as migraines and Chron's disease, both of which are made worse through poor nutrition. I just want to see everyone feel a bit better, a bit healthier. That's my wish. And if I can help in some way by passing along information that I obtain, then that's a good thing.

Seeeeeeeya; Godoweed of the North
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