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Summer Best – Tomatoes

Durst Organic Growers Esparto, CA

Fourth-generation California farmers. Raley’s farmers for close to 20 years.


  • Tomatoes have been linked to a decrease in risk of prostate cancer.(1)
  • Lycopene, the plant-based compound that gives tomatoes their coloring, has been linked to heart health.(2)

Tips from Jim and Deborah Durst, Co-owners, Durst Organic Growers:

How to Select

  • If an heirloom tomato is more than 10 percent green, it was probably picked in an immature state.
  • Heirlooms should be firm but not mushy. If you pick it up and your fingers go through the wall, it’s overripe.
  • Look for bright colors and a sheen on firm cherry tomatoes. A duller or absent sheen may suggest an older tomato.

How to Store

  • Stored on the counter out of the sun or in a cool place, tomatoes should keep for a week.

A Farmer’s Story

“Farming requires us to be observant, skilled, insightful and reflective, as well as pragmatic,” Jim says. “I like to think of farming as an art form. There’s science involved but our canvas is the soil. The air, water, sunshine and microbiology – farmers bring all of that together to create an art form that carries nutrition and sustenance.”


(1) An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene
(2) Tomatoes and Cardiovascular Health

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