Monday, January 11, 2010

Omnivorous tomato plants!

Last Fall I put off pulling out my plants. It seemed cruel in some irrational way. They might keep growing! Maybe they were happy! But I knew if I put it off too long I wouldn't have time to prepare the bed before the ground got soaked. So one day I picked all the remaining green tomatoes and pulled out my plants. I had to scrub my hands clean afterwards because they were covered in this green goo from the stems of the tomatoes. I was somewhat surprised but nothing came of my curiosity until last Friday.

On Friday I read about carnivorous tomato plants. It isn't true. They are actually omnivorous if anything. It is never good to ignore a plant. Tomatoes are the worst. A recent study has shown that a tomato plant's use flies as fertilizer. The theory is that without a high enough nutrient content the tomato goes carnivorous. See those little hairs on the stem of the tomato? When a fly lands there the hairs close on the fly and hold it until it dies. After that the fly is released and acts as fertilizer for the plant. Why didn't we know this before? Because tomatoes kept in captivity don't need to function as omnivores, much like people. Also on the list are some potatoes, petunias, tobacco, and maybe eggplant but I can't remember.

But you probably know all that. Why? Because in a very short time this information has spread across the internet and between people. It is the epitome of random knowledge. I may not know about the wars and the floods and the fires but everyone around me is now talking about carnivorous tomatoes. When it is something that will change our conception of the world we spreed it as fast as possible. Maybe because it fascinates us. Maybe because it will disturb others. But the important question here is does this pose an ethical dilemma to vegans? And is this why the macrobiotic diet bans foods in the nightshade family?


Elisabeth said...

Are people frightened on omnivores and carnivores? Is it the aggressive element, or the fantasy that such behaviours will come back at us? I don't know. I wonder.

chaospet said...

Well, that's the last time I feel guilty about killing plants for food.