You Say Tomacco, I Say Tobato


From the National Post:

An Oregon scientist inspired by Homer Simpson has successfully created "tomacco"—a tomato plant that contains nicotine.

Link via Scott MacMillan.


NEXT: Under the Law

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Just wait till the FDA gets news of this.

    Stock up early before you have to buy ketchup on the black market.

  2. “this tastes like grandma!”

  3. Now if he could only figure out a way for them to contain THC……

  4. What would we call that, bennett? Pot-ato is already taken.

  5. “this tastes like grandma!”

    Your grandma dipped too, eh?

    Has anyone else gotten pleasure from “huffing” tomato vines? I’m thinking there’s something better than nicotine already in there. Scientists keep lookin’!

  6. Proof positive that life imitates art.

  7. What’s next, a monkey with two asses?

  8. Are we ready for that Monorail?

  9. Only in the really dumb cities.

  10. Mmmmmmmm…. addictive!

  11. I would call it “tomatos that I would actually eat…gladly” (I hate tomatos).

  12. Don’t let the Italian grandmothers hear about this. “Are you coming by for dinner next Sunday?”

    “I don’t know, Nonna.”

    “I’ll set a place for you anyway…”

  13. I know how the FDA will label these innocent veggies: Terminators.

  14. First:
    An Oregon scientist inspired by Homer Simpson has successfully created “tomacco” — a tomato plant that contains nicotine…
    And then:
    Mr. Baur, an operations analyst in an Oregon waste-water facility, admits it would be a relief if the fruit turns out to be nicotine-free, although it would likely mean the end of his sudden notoriety.

    if i was an astrophysicist or something i’d be a little peeved i threw away all chance of ever having sex to be lumped in with this guy as a “scientist”.

  15. Nicotine is addictive and carcinogenic. I guess that would make these things “killer tomatoes.”

    These mutant fruits are out of control!

  16. I’m pretty sure tomato leaves contain nicotine anyway. Tomatoes and tobacco, along with potatoes, eggplants, and peppers, all belong to the deadly nightshade family.

    If you use the organic pest control method of scattering tobacco on the ground to kill squash bugs, you have to remember not to plant tomatoes or peppers in that spot next year. If the tobacco was infected with mosaic virus, it could spread to tomatoes.

  17. It’s a good thing he didn’t cross tomatoes with nightshade then!

    When I was younger I thought it would be great if someone crossed tomatoes and potatoes, so you had the roots underground and the fruit above. Today I’d go a step further and make the leaves tobacco!

  18. Aaaah … ketchup!

    (scuze me.)

  19. “so you had the roots underground and the fruit above”

    Actually Madog one of my gardening catalogs offers a plant that does exactly that.


    I knew tomatoes and potatoes were in the nightsade family but wasn’t aware of tobacco an peppers. My mother had a thing that since potatoes were in the nightsade family you couldn’t eat them raw (perhaps she was confused about the greens you have to boil and drain [poke salad anyone and is it mung beans or something else?]. But then maybe Radcliffe girls aren’t as smart as they say or else “you can take the girl out of Jersey but you can’t take Jersey out of the girl”). Then my ex-wife told me she eaten raw potatoes for years (but then, maybe that’s what turned her into a psychotic, manipulative bitch). 🙂

  20. If he makes a hot pepper that has nicotine, that’ll be a smokin’ hot pepper.

  21. Not to be too botanical, but I recall diggin’ ‘taters with my dippin’ grandma and noticing “tomotoes” on some vines. She wisely profiled those beguiling morsels poisonous.

    Haven’t “terminators” always been seen as the fruit of love? That being the case, this new fruit will be consumed both before and after?

    Lycopene, oysters, nicotine: life be good!

  22. Andy D.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    I got so much flak when I told that to anybody that I assumed my ma (like a lot of other smart people) simply had some nutty ideas about something that was outside her area of expertise, and that the real reason for not eating raw potatoes was that they don’t taste good.

    Given that there are a lot of foods like this it’s probably a good idea to get informed, especially if you’re trying something new.

  23. I tried one o’ them new fangled tomaters. Damn thing wouldn’t light!

  24. arjay, potatoes ~are~ a bit toxic, and the cooking process destroys the toxin(s). They used to be a lot more toxic though, but a lot of it has been bred out over the years. I really don’t know how much raw potato you’d need need to eat to make you sick, and I’m sure it varies with potato type.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.