Can You Eat Tomatoes With Blight?



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Can You Eat Tomatoes With Blight?

If you’ve been growing your tomatoes in a warm and humid environment and notice some dark patches on their exterior when you come to eat them, there is a high chance they have been affected by the fungal disease known as blight. Your first thought would be, can you eat tomatoes with blight?

Before biting into a tomato that looks a little off in its appearance, it’s worth checking how safe it is to eat a tomato that has been affected by blight and how you can prevent it from infecting your fruit in the future. 

Here is the full breakdown of everything you need to know about tomatoes that have been attacked by blight, including what it is, how to spot it, and most importantly, if you can eat it. 

What Is Tomato Blight?

Blight is a fungal infection that is scientifically called Phytophthora Infestans. It spreads and attacks the foliage of tomatoes, which causes them to rot and can quickly destroy the fruit entirely when it reaches the later stages of the infection. 

This infection can spread in multiple ways, including being carried by insects, the wind, water, and other infected plants.

Because of this, it most commonly appears on tomatoes grown in the warmer months instead of in winter. 

How Can You Tell If A Tomato Has Blight?

The biggest sign that a tomato has become infected by blight is when the leaves start to become watery before they shrivel up, turn brown, and begin rotting away.

Brown spots will also start appearing on the branches and stems of the tomato, along with sunken areas appearing around the exterior of the tomato, which will also be a deep brown. 

Is It Safe To Eat A Tomato With Blight?

Even in its later stages, blight cannot infect humans, so it will technically be completely safe to eat a tomato that has been affected by it, even if it has been infected for a prolonged period

With that being said, blight will still rot certain areas of the fruit before it destroys it entirely, so if you are going to tuck into a tomato that seems to have a few brown blight lesions dotted around it, it can be worth cutting these out since they can cause some nasty side effects and will ruin the overall taste. 

Be aware that it is much better to eat a tomato that has only been affected by early stages of blight since this means it won’t have entered the fruit internally and, instead, will only be found in the areas of the tomato where it has spread externally and around the surface, meaning the flavor inside of the tomato will still be juicy and healthy to eat. 

Suppose the blight is in its later stages of development and you find blight spots in the lower main stem. In that case, this will heavily affect the tomato quality, so while it will technically still be edible, it’s not going to taste anywhere near as good as it should and is usually worth throwing away instead. 

Is There Any Way To Prevent Blight?

Can You Eat Tomatoes With Blight?

While it can be a little tricky to prevent completely, there are a few steps to try and stop the blight from infecting your tomatoes so that they are as fresh and healthy as possible when it comes time to pick them. 

First, you will want to keep the tomato plants as dry as possible since water is one way the infestation travels and inflicts blight. Make sure to keep them well-ventilated so they don’t get too warm as they grow. 

Another good strategy is to remove the lower leaves as the tomato develops since these are often the first areas blight will infect before it starts spreading to the fruit itself, so it can be worth cutting them off entirely. 

There is also a solution you can create and apply to the tomatoes as they grow to protect against blight and other fungal infections.

This can be made by mixing together a tablespoon of baking soda and vegetable oil, a small amount of mild soap, and a gallon of water.

You will need to spray this protective solution on the tomatoes regularly since blight can attack incredibly quickly, so to give them the best chance of remaining healthy, applying this daily is often the best option. 

Can A Tomato Recover From Blight?

Once a tomato has been affected by blight, while you can remove parts of the infection and the lesions to make it healthier and more appetizing to eat, it will never fully recover to the state it was in before it became infected. 

It should also be noted that mature tomatoes will rot much more quickly when they first become infected, so it can be a lot harder to protect them from the infection spreading than much younger and fresher tomatoes. 

How Long Can Blight Last?

Tomato blight spores will remain in the ground for between 3 to 4 years, meaning the infection will still linger around the environment even when you get rid of the tomatoes that have been inflicted with the fungal infection. 

Because of this, if you notice that a few of your tomatoes are becoming infected with blight one after another, rather than putting up with it and having to cut away the brown lesions and crusty leaves each and every time you want to eat them, it can be better to grow tomatoes in a healthier environment and try to take the necessary steps to help prevent blight attacking. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Can You Eat Tomatoes With Blight?

Q: Is it safe to eat tomatoes with blight?

A: Yes, it is safe to eat tomatoes with slight blight or early blight. While blight can affect the appearance and yield of tomatoes, it does not pose any health risks to humans. However, it is recommended to remove and discard any affected parts before consuming.

Q: Can you eat blighted tomatoes?

Completely blighted tomatoes should not be eaten. Tomato blight is a plant disease caused by fungi, resulting in rot and decay. Eating tomatoes with blight can lead to health risks and should be avoided. It is recommended to discard or compost completely affected fruits to prevent the spread of the disease.

Final thoughts on Can You Eat Tomatoes With Blight?

Any experienced gardener will know just how annoying tomato blight can be.

It’s very hard to prevent and can ruin the appearance of tomatoes and other grown fruits. On top of all that, it will gradually rot tomatoes once they have been infected, so while you can still eat them by removing any signs of the disease, it is still better to try and avoid it entirely

Further Recommendations:

Video: Getting Rid Of Blight

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