Simpson Fan Grows Tomacco

Press Release - October 2003

To: KPTV 12 News
Subject: Tomacco exists!

I thought you might be interested in the following local story as a 10 O'clock news lead into this season's premier of The Simpsons.

I am a fan of Fox 12's The Simpsons, and episode # 1105 [1] is my favorite. Homer had exposed a variety of seeds to Plutonium and Tomacco was the only thing that grew. A foul tasting tomato that made everyone addicted after one nasty bite. I thought it sounded familiar and I found a 1968 reprint [2] of a 1959 Scientific American article where a scientist had grafted tomato tops to tobacco roots and gotten nicotine in the tomato plant since the tobacco root produces the nicotine.

I have created live Tomacco here in Lake Oswego. I grew tomato and tobacco from seed and grafted then together creating a tomato plant with tobacco roots. The leaves and fruit of the tomato top should have nicotine in them. I have moved the plant inside. Fruit is now 1.7 inches in diameter.

How I created Tomacco:

I grew the tomato and tobacco plants side by side and cut both stems open and wrapped them together. The two plants fused and then I cut off the tomato root leaving the tomato plant dependent on the tobacco root for water, nutrients and nicotine!

I do not plan on tasting Tomacco since the fatal dose of nicotine is only 50 to 60 milligrams [3].

I did an internet search and found no one else had grown Tomacco yet. This is yet another connection between Portland and the Simpsons.

The fruit is red now and I plan on getting it tested for nicotine. A local lab has offered to do the testing for free! I am going to try to schedule the testing done this Friday, October 24th.

Rob Baur
Lake Oswego, OR

[2] Bio-Organic Chemistry 1968 pg. 170 ISBN 0-7167-0974-0

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Last updated on November 3, 2003 by