By Vanessa Richins
This season, we have a lot of readers concerned about the late blight that has spread throughout the Northeastern United States. Here’s 2 reader questions about the tomatoes themselves.
“Good morning, I had many of my tomato plants infected with the fungus.Some of the cherry tomato plants that were next to the infected ones appear normal. The tomatoes are red and without white spots. Is it safe to eat these tomatoes? Thank you for your help and time. Have a nice day. P.s. Is this fungus harmful to humans if ingested?”
“Can tomatoes be eaten from plants that show blight–I pulled out all my plants but some tomatoes are still green and sitting in the sun.I would like to know if they’re safe to eat if they turn red.”
Hi! The virus itself is not harmful to humans, so they are safe to eat. It depends on if they start showing signs of blight. So far it sounds like yours will be edible, Anthony. Just cut them open first to look for any signs of rot.
I have read in some places that the flavor may also be affected – as the Penn State Master Gardeners point out,” fungus infected fruit may have a higher than normal pH that could make it unsafe for canning. This is true for other fungal infections of tomato as well.” If anyone is planning to can blight-affected tomatoes, be sure to read their post about canning.
Debbie, you’ll have to watch your tomatoes as they ripen. It’s possible that they could still turn out to be affected by the late blight as they ripen.
Good luck, and I hope you are able to eat at least some of your tomatoes this year.