Tomatoes are a staple in most of our diets. From salad to pizza, and pasta sauce to the viral tomato toast of the summer, it's safe to say we need tomatoes for all of our favorite foods — not to mention how panicked people were about the tomato shortage earlier this year. All of that to say, there may be a new variation of the beloved tomato hitting grocery stores sooner than you may think.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have approved a new tomato from Norfolk Plant Sciences — in an unexpected color. According to a press release, the purple tomato can be safely grown in the United States with the expectation that growers will be able to begin purchasing seeds in 2023, as mentioned in a statement from John Innes Centre.
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Aside from just a new hue, the new tomato packs a ton of nutrition, particularly anthocyanins, which give the tomato its rich color. According to the National Library of Medicine, anthocyanins found in plants have a range of health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, increased protection against cardiovascular diseases, and the ability to curb obesity effects.
"We are now one step closer to my dream of sharing healthy purple tomatoes with the many people excited to eat them," said Professor Cathie Martin, founder of Norfolk Plant Sciences, in a statement. "We also look forward to sensible regulatory frameworks for such products in the United Kingdom, and effective methods to protect our major crops from disease, using genetics instead of chemistry."
Purple pizza, anyone?