Tomatoes Or Potatoes? This Plant Lets You Have Both

The inventors of the "TomTato" say their product -- the result of a decade's worth of development -- is the first successful tomato-potato graft to be produced for the mass market.

What's the Latest Development?


Now available for sale in the UK: "TomTato," a graft of two plants that produces tomatoes and potatoes at the same time. Paul Hansord of the horticultural firm Thompson and Morgan says it's the result of 10 years of development: "[T]he tomato stem and the potato stem have to be the same thickness for the graft to work...It is a very highly skilled operation." The plant lasts for a single growing season and was unveiled at the same time a similar version, "Potato Tom," arrived at garden shops in New Zealand.

What's the Big Idea?

Unlike genetic modification, grafting involves combining two plants into one by bringing them into close proximity with each other, often by taping two clean-cut ends together. Other tomato-potato combos have been created, but Hansord notes that in those cases "the potato is planted in a pot with a tomato planted in the same pot -- our plant is one plant." Also, past grafts had a problem with taste, something that Guy Barter of the Royal Horticultural Society hopes has been fixed with the TomTato. Besides, he adds, "Many people don't have that much space in their gardens and I imagine this sort of product would appeal to them."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC News

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

(Porch)
Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less