A Sad News of Rotting Tomatoes

A glimpse of news, roughly 20 tons of rotting tomatoes was aired via 24 Oras. It was happening in Navarcan, Ilocos Sur. It was said that a certain company, which was not mentioned, ordered too much for the season. The end result, tons and tons of red ripe tomatoes were rotting on delivery trucks. Some were not even picked.

Perhaps the farmers entered to a contract-growing agreement. Manufacturing company pays for the goods before it is even produce. In many cases, they provide the planting materials, fertilizers, necessary training and consultancy services. In return, they can assure steady supply of the commodity they want.

This kind of arrangement is also beneficial to farmers. It is a sure income source without worrying about where to sell. However, their income compared to quantity and quality is usually low.

Tomatoes. Letting them rot on the ground and become fertilizer is the last thing to do. First, the manufacturer who ordered the commodity was responsible for it. They should have converted them to shelf stable product. I am quite sure they have the capability but encountered a little shortcomings.

Next were the farmers. They could have done something about it. Processing them to tomato sauce, paste, juice, whole tomato in can is easy enough. Well, if they know beforehand the situation, they will surely contact other buyers, not process.

We are talking 20 tons here. It is not easy to process them at home levels. What I suggests to them is form a cooperative entity that will be responsible for processing. Any cooperative with a good core team can easily succeed. Base on my own experience, they can quickly source capital/equipment grants from government offices and NGO’s.

They should have not let the tomatoes rot even if the contractor had already pay the cost.

Saute' Squash -Tomato Sauce

My recipe today was very easy to prepare. I looked for vegetables in fridge. I saw this fruits and leaves of squash. I mixed them and put some sauce! I add also some condiments for a greater taste. Some of us, I think, will include a can of sardines instead because it is cheaper! I can’t do the same because my hubby is on diet.

Enjoy my new recipe. I am sure you can do it within few minutes….

Ingredients:

1/4 kilo squash, cubes
1 cup squash young leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken meat, sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
ground pepper
salt to taste
vegetable oil
1 cup water

Cooking Procedures:

Saute garlic and onion. Add chicken meat and cook until golden brown. Continue stirring. Add squash and water. Cover the pan. Boil until squash is tender. Add tomato sauce and season with ground pepper and salt to taste. Add the squash leaves. Cover the pan and turn off the fire. The remaining heat is enough to cook the recently added leaves. Serve hot!

saute squash tomato

Lumpiang Touge with Okra Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup mongo sprout or togue
1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup camote, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken meat, cubes
1 bulb onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground pepper
salt to taste
10 pcs lumpia wrapper

Sauce:

4 okra
8 ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bulb onion, chopped
1 spoon sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 spoons vinegar
1/4 tsp atswete or anato powder
2 cups water

Cooking Instructions:

Wash all vegetable ingredients. Saute garlic and onion. Add chicken and mix until golden brown. Add vegetables and season with ground pepper and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for three minutes. Cool and drain. Put in lumpia wrapper and roll. Fry lumpia until golden brown. Serve it with okra tomato sauce.

How to Make Okra Tomato Sauce:

Boil okra and tomato in water. Extract the juice. Add garlic, onion, vinegar, atswete, sugar and pepper. Boil for few minutes. Maybe thicken with cornstarch.

lumpia touge okra tomato sauce

Assuring a Clostridium botulinum Free Low Acid Food

I found this short paragraph from the, “Complete Home Canning Guide”, interesting. See my reaction can be found after the duplicate.

If Clostridium botulinum bacteria survive and grow inside a sealed jar of food, they can produce a poisonous toxin. Even a taste of food containing this toxin can be fatal. Boiling food 10 minutes at altitudes below 1,000 feet destroys this poison when it is present. For altitudes at and above 1,000 ft, add one additional minute per 1,000 feet additional elevation. Caution: To prevent the risk of botulism, low-acid and tomato foods not canned according to the recommendations should be boiled as above, even if you detect no signs of spoilage. All low-acid food canned according to the approved recommendations may be eaten without boiling them when you are sure of all the following:

1)  Food was processed in a pressure canner
2) Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate
3) Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
4) The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at your altitude was followed.

5) Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave
6) Nothing has leaked from the jar

7) No liquid spurts out when the jar is opened.
8) No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.

Numbers one to four can only be known and assure if:

a) The manufacturer is willing and will honestly include each product processing information. Printed legibly as part of label or on a separate sheet. The separate information sheet is included as part of the product package and could be read by customer before purchase.

b) Regulatory authorities is regularly monitoring the manufacturer’s activities and assuring its conformity to set standards.

c) The company has an advanced and efficient QA and RD division.

Items 5 and 6 could be easily inspected by buyers. Anyone cannot go wrong if he look closely and diligently.

The lasts number 7 and 8 could only be detected upon opening the jar which requires paying for the item first. Unlucky if the liquid spurts and unnatural color and odors are detected. Still consider yourself lucky if you have not tasted it first.

Regarding the relationship between altitudes and boiling times, I have never studied it during college and have never applied it in actual. I think it needs a deeper digging.

Tomatine Poison in Tomatoes

Tomato has tomatine. What is tomatine then? It is a poison. It belongs to group of glycoalkaloid poisons – glyco means sugar. Taste bitter, potentially toxic and cause bitter irritation on back of mouth and sides of tongue. Poisonous substances is likely to cause fatality if sufficient amount is ingested.

red ripe tomato

Tomatine has some suspected side effects like digestion difficulty when mixed with spice foods and arthritic pains.

It is poison, has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Amounts in leaves and stems are significantly larger than in fruits. Explains why I rarely see an infested tomato stems and leaves. However, some bacteria are able to produce tomatinase to render tomatine ineffective and successfully invade the plant.

Tomato is popular for its lycopene. The issue about tomatine is a completely opposite subject matter. Lycopene is beneficial while the latter is harmful.  Should we stop eating this ripe and succulent fruit?

There is nothing to worry about. It was mentioned above. The amount of poison in fruit is less. Poison content of green tomato is so little to cause harm. Ripening makes the quantity even smaller.

There was no recorded tomatine poisoning in history. Solanine poisoning from eating greened potatoes is more likely. Cassava cyanide poisoning far more dangerous. Other suspected side effects such as digestion difficulty and arthritic pain have a very low chances of occurrence.

Tomato leaves and stems are more potent. I could not find information how potent it is though. Those parts have unpleasant smell and equipped with numerous thin fragile thorns. No one will attempt to eat, human or animals.

The Tomato Tokwa Chao Fan

I had a cold and felt like sleeping all day. I did slept from 9 am to 11 am and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. It was a good thing my baby boy had the same appetite for sleep.

Before taking afternoon sleep, I mashed the leftover rice to loosen its grains. Then I placed it inside refrigerator. The purpose was to prepare it for fried rice. My friend Dennis told me about this technique.

Then afternoon sleep ….zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Lot of sleep and drinking water are essential for cold curing.

The only suitable ingredient left in fridge are tomatoes and tofu. I thought these two are enough compliment. I fried the cubed tofu and set it aside. Sauteed onions. I added the rice and tofu and fried it for about ten minutes. I mixed soy soy sauce and fish sauce to taste. The two condiments are not usually used together but I am doing it often. I topped it with sliced crunchy tomatoes.

My baby boy woke up after after I finished cooking. We ate the yummy chao fan together.

The mashing and cooling of rice in fridge was a good idea. It resulted to a better fried rice texture.