By Mariana del Pino *
It is of American origin and ancestors of the tomato that we currently consume have been found in the Andean region from Colombia to the north of Chile, including the Galapagos Islands. But today's tomato is no longer found in the wild.
The tomato is a herbaceous plant, which can remain in a perennial form in tropical climates. It is grown as an annual because it is affected by both droughts and frosts. In Argentina we have tomato production all year round, since in winter the northern provinces such as Salta and Jujuy have mild winters that do not harm the tomato, and then Corrientes can also supply tomatoes before tomato can be harvested in Buenos Aires, which It is only from October and November of crops in greenhouses, protected from the cold.
Tomato is a very sensitive crop to many insects and diseases, and also has a very long harvest period (3 to 5 months).
Therefore, the vast majority of conventional (non-organic) tomatoes are sprayed with chemicals several times during the harvest cycle. More than 40 applications with agrochemicals have been registered in a conventional tomato crop throughout the season. As the harvest is almost daily, it is not always taken into account what is called the product deficiency time (which is the time that must be waited between when the product is applied and the tomato is harvested to wait for the theoretical degradation of the same).
In addition, the tomato is a fruit that has pollination problems, that is, the event by which the pollen passes to the female part of the flower and then the fruit can be formed. Therefore, in many conventional tomato productions, plant hormones are used for the fruit to form even though there are pollination problems (a fruit called “parthenocarpic” is induced). So these fruits are hollow, sometimes bigger too, but with less seed and less juice. Also with less flavor.
Organic tomatoes do not have agrochemical residues, no hormones of any kind have been used in their production, and also organic producers prefer the use of organic seeds preserved by producers, such as local or heirloom or "heirloom" tomatoes that They are tomatoes that have different colors, flavors and shapes.
(*) MAPO, Argentine Movement for Organic Production, was created in 1995 and is the most important organic Non-Governmental Organization in the Argentine Republic, registered as a Non-Profit Civil Society. It brings together all the entities, people, companies or NGOs that are related in some way to organic production, or establishes contacts and agreements with small related organizations in the interior. Its associates are organic producers, certifiers, researchers, scientists, technicians, educators, entrepreneurs and marketers. The fundamental objectives of MAPO are: a) Promote organic production, b) Disseminate and demonstrate to the community the benefits of the production system and organic food, c) Ensure the quality and transparency of organic markets and d) Express itself in defense of the Organic Movement and its members.
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