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Old 21.05.2012, 09:05
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black splotches on tomatoes?

I buy Migros or Coop organic tomatoes. I've noticed that they often recently have small discolored black/dark splotches, a few mm in size. Organic tomatoes are prepacked, and sometimes the splotches won't be visible till you open the packet. Or sometimes they develop within an a day or so after opening which makes me wonder if the packets have a controlled atmosphere, and the tomatoes quickly start to go bad after opening.

Has anyone else noticed this or know what it is? I googled and there is a tomato problem called 'blossom end rot' on the gardeners forums, but I'm guessing that the big tomato producers don't have that same problem because it's caused by irregular watering.

I am not sure if it happens with tomatoes from all countries, but definitely from Italy because I have a Coop pack of organic Italian tomatoes that I bought on Saturday and they are all black-splotched today.
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Old 21.05.2012, 09:24
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Yup, either bottom/top end rot or blight. I think it's too early for blight though, but it has been wet.....so maybe!

I don't think it's bad for you, but I wouldn't eat the bad bits, same as green bits in spuds, just chop the bad bits off.
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Old 21.05.2012, 09:48
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Re: black splotches on tomatoes?

Not the right place for a fight about organic/bio vs conventional farming, but its a fact that organic disease management is significantly harder than using agri-chemicals, so by definition - organic crops get more disease. Blight (which this sounds like) can require some fairly heavy duty chemicals to manage.

In terms of the package hiding the defects, I doubt its to "fool" you as a consumer, but more for the customer ie the supermarket. The producers have certain weekly production targets to hit and if they have disease issues, the supermarket doesn't care about the excuses. So if you can package them cleverly, they do it

(Also, prepackaging is a way of ensuring "identity preservation" so that crops grown as "Bio" stay seperated through the supply chain)
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Old 21.05.2012, 20:02
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Re: black splotches on tomatoes?

Right, I did not think that the packaging was to disguise the blotches. All organic produce in Coop/Migros comes wrapped, and I assumed it was to stop shoppers from bagging and weighing the organic produce with the code of its non-organic equivalent, and ripping off the supermarket.

I've switched to some non-organic but healthy looking tomatoes for this evening's dinner! (frypan of fried chicken and celery, layer of spinach, layer of sliced tomatoes, layer of emmental, put on a lid until the cheese is melted, quick and easy to make).

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Not the right place for a fight about organic/bio vs conventional farming, but its a fact that organic disease management is significantly harder than using agri-chemicals, so by definition - organic crops get more disease. Blight (which this sounds like) can require some fairly heavy duty chemicals to manage.

In terms of the package hiding the defects, I doubt its to "fool" you as a consumer, but more for the customer ie the supermarket. The producers have certain weekly production targets to hit and if they have disease issues, the supermarket doesn't care about the excuses. So if you can package them cleverly, they do it

(Also, prepackaging is a way of ensuring "identity preservation" so that crops grown as "Bio" stay seperated through the supply chain)
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