Tomatoes? Poisonous? No!

These are tomatoes, the so called poisonous fruit.

These are tomatoes, the so called poisonous fruit.

Seoul Bishoff, Senior Reporter

When George Washington’s chef heard that tomatoes were poisonous, he was determined to finally get rid of the current president (George Washington). If you enjoy reading about “toxic tomatoes” then keep reading to hear the full story about, when an unloyal chef attempted to poison George Washington with…tomato soup.

A long time ago, well not that long ago, but in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s there was a rumor spreading around that tomatoes were poisonous. The tomatoes were actually harmless, but people had been eating the tomatoes on/with lead crafted dishes. Lead is an extremely toxic metal, that was used for crafting dishes in the late 1700’s  and early 1800’s. People had been eating off of the dishes,the acid in tomatoes soaked up the poisons in the lead, so people, came up with the conclusion that it had to be tomatoes doing all of this poisoning. So, people started to stay away from tomatoes like a mouse from a cat.

How does any of this relate to George Washington, you ask? Well, George fell ill one day and he had a head cold, which has seriously impaired his sense of taste. So the chef decided to take advantage of this by putting a tomato in his meal/dish, being tomatoes were thought to have been poisonous. Once George had received the dish, of course he ate it… and all was good. At this point the chef probably thought George was completely immune to tomatoes, since he didn’t fall even more ill or die.

Tomatoes may have seemed like the bad guy then, but the truth is, tomatoes are one of the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene (a red carotenoid pigment in tomatoes and many berries and fruits), which has been linked to multiple health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

In conclusion, tomatoes were thought to have been poisonous in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s, when in actuality it was the lead crafted dishes that were eaten off of. A chef heard about this rumor and decided to take advantage of George Washington falling ill, by feeding him a meal that had tomatoes incorporated into it. But tomatoes are actually extremely healthy, they are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.