How Deteriorating Tomatoes Can Land You In The Hospital

The money you saved while buying those damaged, deteriorating (esha) tomatoes could eventually be used to cure the illnesses that come with them.

Food products or items of lower qualities are usually what some people prefer to purchase regardless of their financial status. In fact, It could be said to be in their genes. One food product that falls into this category is tomato. In many popular markets in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria there have been visible popularity in the purchase ofDeteriorating Tomato (popularly called Esha tomato) even among people who appear comfortable to purchase fresh tomatoes. This I have seen countless times in the popular Lagos mile 12 market.

damaged tomatoes

I have always said to people who care to listen that you do not need to be a ‘Bill Gate’ to buy fresh food produce like tomato for your family. Usually, a poor quality food might not necessarily translate into low price. All these ideas are only in our perception.

Deteriorating or partially rotten tomato commonly called Esha among the Yorubas is a sure way of depriving your body essential nutrients that are needed for growth and development. In the process of spoilage, bacteria begin to utilize the nutrient content of tomatoes in order to increase in number and to further cause more deterioration. When this happens, tomato loses its firmness and nutritive value. Many of the spoilt tomatoes result due to far distance between the farms and markets. It further exposes the lycophene loaded vegetable to bacteria and fungi attack.

Have you ever wondered why you are faced with diarrhea after eating from a local food store or mama put joint? Asides the unhygienic method of food preparation, it will surprise you to note that most of the cases of food poisonings that occur are due to poor quality food ingredient like spoilt tomatoes used in the cooking. The future implication of consuming this kind of meals cooked with deteriorated or rotten tomatoes is damage to internal organ due to released toxins which might not be noticed on a short term.

Some of the associated illnesses with the consumption of rotten tomatoes are liver inflammation, diarrhea and vomitting. These conditions are life threatening when there are severe.

Opt for fresh tomatoes and not rotten/Esha in order to benefit from the good nutrition that the vegetable can provide.


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Oladipupo Abioye
Oladipupo is a Pediatric Nutritionist with Lagos State Ministry of Health. He is an adventurous foodie and loves to teach and render presentations on foods and nutritional topics at different symposia. He loves Messi but Chelsea FC is his baby.


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  1. Interesting n educative article. However, the writer must be an Ibadan man cos of the “mama put” and some other funny words he used. Lol… Nice one

    1. Yes, definitely they are not expensive in Ibadan but you could be saving for expensive hospital bills if you consistently consume meals prepared from mama put joints that do not adhere to good food preparation processes.

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