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Tomatoes are packed with health promoting vitamins including vitamin A and C, and disease fighting phythochemicals, in particular lycopene with a mere 35 calories per medium tomato. Tomatoes are also a source of dietary fiber, containing about as much fiber as a slice of whole wheat bread. Tomatoes provide potassium, iron, phosphorous and some B vitamins. They are low in sodium and contain no cholesterol.
Americans on average consume 18 pounds of tomatoes every year. Each year, fresh tomatoes rank in the top three in consumer preference of vegetables in the supermarket produce department, contributing 7 to 10 percent total produce department sales according to USDA's Economic Research Service (2005).
Store tomatoes at room temperature. Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator, the cool temperatures will stop the ripening process and ruin the tomato flavor. Also storing tomatoes next to bananas will make them ripen quicker. Bananas and tomatoes both emit a naturally occurring ripening gas called ethylene, and when you store the two together, they both ripen rapidly. If you need to ripen your tomato quickly, store it in a paper bag.
(Source: California Tomato Comission, Florida Tomatoes)