Do Tomatoes Have Chloroplasts?

The short answer is no. If you know anything about how a plant gets energy, you know that it is these chloroplasts that carry out photosynthesis, turning light into energy. So why do the tomatoes grow without energy? Or do they?

The answer is that they have energy and they get energy from the photosynthesis taking place in the chloroplasts of the leaves of the tomato plant. In other words, the plant is a plant, and the tomato is a fruit.


Think about any fruit you get from the grocery store or pick from your garden. The fruit doesn’t continue to gather energy and grow once you put it in the cupboard. Root vegetables and tubers like potatoes might grow roots to stem out and search for water, or energy. But remember, potatO, potato, tomatO, tomAto. Fruits get energy from the plants they grow on.

Think about it this way, would you grow a tomato plant without light? You need your garden to get those rays. That’s why people like us in Chicago have such a short growing season.

So, when you eat a tomato, raw, you are consuming absolutely no chloroplasts. That salsa you eat though? Well it probably contains cilantro, an herb, and leaves that DOES contain chloroplasts.  Don’t they go together so well?

If your tomatoes did contain chloroplast, they’d probably all be green tomatoes, and I don’t mean the fried green kind. Chloroplasts contain chlorophyll which absorbs all colors except green. It reflects green, giving plants and leaves their green colors. So why are green tomatoes, green you ask? Well, that’s a topic for another blog post.

Now you know that you aren’t tasting any of those minute, microscopic chloroplasts in your tomatoes, but you sure are reaping the benefits. Without them, your tomato wouldn’t exist. And, without the fruit of the tomato, which contains the seeds for regrowth and rebirth, the tomato plant would live on to see another season. Ahh, the circle of chloroplasts… and life.

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