So, if anybody is curious about the results of the infamous tomato paste experiment, I’m declaring it a success. As a really quick recap, I spent the summer grossing out friends and family by eating a table spoon of tomato paste every day in the hopes that it would let me avoid using sunblock.
Of course, I have no way to objectively measure the degree of my exposure to the sun, but it was a sunny summer, both in the U.S. where I spent the hottest four weeks, and here in Germany. And, in that time, I never used sunblock. To be fair, I didn’t try to maximize my sun exposure (it was hot!) except in some early mornings, late evenings. But, neither did I ever say “I can’t go out, I’m not wearing sunblock.”
So, there is bad news for my kids. Next summer they’re stuck eating tomato paste, too. (Though I’m not the only one who decides and when and how much sunblock they have to wear.)
So, forever ago, we came across a documentary on YouTube which seemed to suggest that the lycopine in tomato paste helped your skin protect itself against sunburn. And, while the article I found to link to expressly says “that doesn’t mean you should stop using suntan lotion,” that’s what I want to do.
I’ve been opposed to the stuff for a while and never use it myself, unless I’m going to go shirtless in the sun for quite a while (the beach!). But, even then, I’d rather just be that guy who bathes in his t-shirt.
I very seldom get sunburnt, which I attribute to being out in it quite a lot running and just being alive. But, we do still slather suntan lotion on our kids, and I don’t like it.
So, this summer I’ve been taking a tablespoon of tomato paste every day. If I get through the summer without sunburn or sunscreen, I’ll start forcing it on my kids next summer. (And, believe me, I can’t wait for that battle every morning.)