What is the difference between red and yellow tomatoes?
What is the difference between red and yellow tomatoes?

It turns out that red and yellow tomatoes differ not only in color but also in the substances they contain. Here is exactly the difference between them. How do red tomatoes differ from yellow ones? The color of tomatoes is determined by the substances anthocyanins – plant pigments with high biological activity.

Yellow tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is essential for balancing the immune system, strengthening bones and preventing various eye diseases.

The red color of tomatoes is due to the lycopene contained in them – a powerful natural antioxidant that is not synthesized in the human body, but obtained from the outside. It is important for the maintenance of the cardiovascular system, helps strengthen memory and the efficient functioning of the brain. The taste of yellow tomatoes seems sweeter due to the low content of vitamin C in them. For this reason, yellow varieties of tomatoes are more suitable for people with allergic diseases. And very often yellow cherry tomatoes are recommended for baby food.

Another important difference between yellow and red tomatoes is the higher pulp content and less juice, which is important in the preparation of some dishes, such as salads or sandwiches. But for this reason, and also because of the low content of vitamin C, yellow tomatoes are less suitable for canning.

Red tomatoes always have a more pronounced taste and aroma. That is why many people love red varieties. By the way, if the aroma is important to you, try to buy products on a twig.

This guarantees maximum freshness and as long as possible the preservation of the aroma of fresh tomatoes, even in the supermarket.

Breakfast with red or cocktail tomatoes is recommended for athletes during intense pre-competition exercise. In this way, they will get the necessary energy without gaining weight. Tomato juice successfully copes with the same task. Keep in mind, however, that for some people, red tomatoes (as well as freshly made tomato juice) can cause allergies.

What are brown tomatoes?

These are the kumato tomatoes. It is worth trying them fresh – this way you can best appreciate their unusual taste. But they are also suitable for cooking. The main benefits of dark tomatoes are due to the content of anthocyanins – substances with a proven preventive effect against cardiovascular disease. Exotic brown color and unusually juicy flesh are the main characteristics of this vegetable, which makes it suitable for salads and main dishes.

EU agri-food trade increased in January – April 2021, compared to last year
EU agri-food trade increased in January – April 2021, compared to last year

Publication of the latest agri-food trade figures.

During the period from January to April 2021, EU agri-food trade (exports plus imports) reached a value of €103.4 billion; i.e. 1.1% less than in January-April 2020. While EU exports increased by 1.7% compared to the same period in 2020, reaching €63 billion, EU imports attained €40.3 billion, still 5.1% less than in the first four months of 2020. The monthly value for EU exports in April 2021 were 7.7% lower than March 2021, but also 9.8% higher than April 2020. EU imports in value also were 2.5% lower in April 2021 compared to March 2021, but 3.7% higher than the value observed in April 2020.  On a year over year basis, for the period January-April 2021, EU agri-food export values fell most with respect to those towards the United Kingdom (minus €806 million, -6%), when compared with the same period in 2020.

The highest increases in the EU export values were recorded with respect to China (plus €912 million, +16%). This continued to be primarily driven by an increase in the EU exports value of pork meat. EU export values to the United States have also increased by 7.1% (plus €488 million) compared to the same period in 2020, mainly driven by wine and spirits. Looking at agri-food imports over January-April 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, a significant fall in the value of EU imports from the United Kingdom continues to be observed (minus €1.844 million, -37%).

A further decrease was also observed in the EU imports from the United States (minus €387 million, -10%). On the other hand, countries for which the EU import values increased the most over the first four months of 2021 include India, Brazil, Serbia, Australia and Argentina. The resulting agri-food trade surplus’ value stood at €22.7 billion, an increase of 17% compared to the period January-April 2020. This net trade balance continued to be driven by high exports of wine, spirits and liqueurs, pork meat, chocolate and confectionary, bulbs, roots and live plants. More information is available here.

EU farm policy reform: Parliament and Council strike a deal
EU farm policy reform: Parliament and Council strike a deal

News | European Parliament

  • More support for those who apply climate- and environmentally-friendly practices
  • 10% of national direct payments to support small and medium-sized farms
  • Tailor-made measures to help farmers deal with crises
  • More transparency on how EU funds are spent, higher sanctions for repeated infringements

Parliament’s and Council’s negotiators reached an informal political agreement on three EU laws that will govern the 2023-2027 EU farm policy, on Friday.

Negotiators endorsed a policy shift that should tailor the EU’s farm policy better to the needs of individual member states, but they insist the European Union’s agricultural policy must also remain common. The new rules provide that national governments should draft strategic plans, which the Commission will endorse, specifying how they intend to implement EU objectives on the ground. The Commission would be checking their performance as well as their compliance with EU rules.

Promoting a better environmental performance for EU farms

Thanks to MEPs, preserving and strengthening biodiversity in the EU and meeting the European Union’s commitments under the Paris Agreement will become one of the objectives of the future EU farm policy. Parliament also ensured that the Commission, when assessing national strategic plans, should check their contribution to the EU’s environmental and climate commitments and the 2030 EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies targets.

During the negotiations, Parliament insisted on strengthening mandatory climate and environmentally-friendly practices, the so-called conditionality, that each farmer must apply to get direct support. On top of that, MEPs got EU governments on board to dedicate at least 35% of the rural development budget to environmental and climate-related measures and, as a general rule, at least 25% of the direct payments budget to eco-schemes, which would be voluntary but would increase farmers’ income.

More money for small farms and young farmers, and better working conditions

MEPs ensured that at least 10% of national direct payments would have to be used to support small and medium-sized farms. To this end, member states could use a redistributive top-up payment or decide to progressively reduce annual direct payments to farmers above €60 000, and cap them at €100 000. If such a scheme is introduced, national governments could allow farmers to deduct 50% of agriculture-related salaries from the total amount before reduction.

EU states could use at least 3% of their CAP budgets to support young farmers. Support for new farmers could be granted from rural development funding.

MEPs also insisted on protecting the rights of farm workers more robustly. They got Council on board for setting up a mechanism to connect, as of 2025 at the latest, national labour inspectors with CAP paying agencies to penalise breaches of EU labour rules.

Helping farmers deal with risks and crises

Throughout the negotiations, Parliament pushed for further measures to help farmers cope with risks and potential future crises. They introduced measures to ensure that the market will be more transparent and better prepared for potential turbulence, and that practices aiming for higher environmental, animal health, or animal welfare standards will be exempt from competition rules. The existing crisis reserve, helping farmers with price or market instability, will be turned from an ad-hoc instrument to a permanent one with a proper budget.

More transparency to protect EU funds and higher sanctions for repeated breaches

MEPs insisted on more transparency on the final beneficiaries of EU subsidies and ensured that member states will be given access to the EU data-mining tool to avoid circumventing EU rules and to duly protect EU funds.

Parliament also made sure that those who repeatedly fail to comply with EU requirements (e.g. on the environment and animal welfare), will face increased sanctions. This should cost farmers 10% of their entitlements (up from today’s 5%).

More information about the approved texts is available in the Q&A.

Next steps

Following the political agreement, the text still need to be technically and legally fine-tuned. It will then have to be approved by the Parliament – first by the Agriculture Committee and then by the full House- and by the Council, to enter into force. New EU farm policy rules should be applicable as of 1 January 2023.


The last reform of the EU farm policy, established in 1962, dates back to 2013. The 2013-2020 CAP rules expired on 31 December 2020 but they were extended and replaced by transitional rules, until the end of 2022.

The CAP accounts for less than a third (31.95% or €386.6 billion) of the 2021-2027 EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework budget (€1.21 trillion). Around 70% of the CAP budget supports the income of six to seven million EU farms.

An initiative to achieve deforestation-free supply chains from Brazil
An initiative to achieve deforestation-free supply chains from Brazil

According to Proterra Foundation “Soy Protein Concentrate Brazilian industry announced end of 2020 that they are taking increased responsibility for the entire value chain of soy-production. The Brazilian soy suppliers, CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Cervejaria Petropolis-Imcopa, will implement a 100 percent deforestation and conversion free soybean value chain with 2020 as their cut-off date.”

Their press communication continues saying that it was the first time that companies in the animal feed industry have set such a voluntary and sector wide benchmark.

The cut-off date of soybeans that are already certified under the ProTerra Standard, abide to the provision that areas of native vegetation cannot be cleared or converted into agricultural areas, or used for industrial or other commercial purposes, after 2008. These companies source soy only from farmers who refrain from clearing forests on their property after the cut-off date of August 2020.

The commitment

The SPC and soymeal exporters CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Cervejaria Petropolis-Imcopa, are committed to stablishing an economical, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible supply chain. The commitment calls for:

• Promote a soy supply chain free from illegal and /or legal deforestation.

• Respect the rights of workers, indigenous peoples and local communities.

• Ensure that sourcing is fully compliant national and local environmental laws and regulations including Forest Code.

The plan to get there

Code of Conduct for soybean suppliers

The companies have developed a Code of conduct, motivating their suppliers to create and maintain a sustainable chain, to encourage good agricultural practices, to assure the protection of high conservation values, environment, and biodiversity, and in the meantime to respect rural workers and communities.

Monitoring based on a socio-environmental analysis

Processors and traders obtain farm-level traceability from all the soy direct sourcing of the company. Before every soy purchase, the trader’s origination team must check if the soy farm is compliant.

In addition, the suppliers are preparing a new sustainability sourcing policy for all their soy, GMO and non-GMO, which includes monitoring farms with satellite geospatial tools, preparing for audits and engaging their soy suppliers. 

The corporate system of the industrial processors shall comprise sufficient thorough tabular data about each supplier, such as the CAR (federal environmental registry).

To achieve this commitment risk assessment and additional mapping will be implemented:

  • Improving monitoring systems in direct soy purchase in order to achieve 100% of traceability in direct suppliers.
  • Start dialogue with indirect suppliers on risk assessment and action plans for the next steps.

In the case of indirect suppliers, complementary information may be gathered through field observations, community-based monitoring and stakeholder engagement. The definition of the level of monitoring for each supplier will be based on an assessment of the suppliers’ social and environmental risk and / or their location.

More about Proterra Foundation here.

Kim Jong Un: Threat of mass famine in North Korea
Kim Jong Un: Threat of mass famine in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a speech at a plenary session of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party announced a possible food shortage in the country.

This was reported by the Japanese television NHK.

“Due to the damage caused by last year’s typhoon, the grain growing plan has not been implemented and therefore there is a tense situation with the provision of food to the population,” the North Korean leader warned.

According to Kim Jong-un, quoted by South Korean television, the extension of quarantine measures imposed in the DPRK due to the coronavirus “has led to a continuation of the struggle to provide the population with clothing, food and housing.”

Kim Jong-un also called on the party and the people of North Korea to be ready for a new “difficult march”. This term in the history of the DPRK refers to the period of the 90s of the last XX century, when the country was experiencing a severe economic crisis, aggravated by mass starvation.

Earlier, South Korean media commented that Kim Jong-un has noticeably lost weight.

Just a month ago, the official publication of the Communist Party in North Korea for the first time acknowledged that vaccination against COVID-19 was not a panacea and that citizens should therefore prepare for long-term intensified anti-epidemic measures. In February, the country requested coronavirus vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO) -based Covax program. The DPRK has requested vaccines, although it has not officially provided any information.

Kim Jong Un has acknowledged that the food situation in North Korea is “tense”, state media reported, amid anxious recalls of the country’s devastating famine in the 1990s, which killed hundreds of thousands.

The poor country, which has come under numerous international sanctions for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, has long struggled to feed itself by suffering from chronic food shortages, AFP reported.

Last year, the coronavirus pandemic and a series of summer storms and floods added even more pressure to the suffocating economy.

At a plenary session of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, Kim said the economy had improved this year, with industrial production up 25 percent from a year earlier, the official KCTA news agency reported.

But there have been a number of deviations due to a number of challenges, the North Korean leader added.

“The human food situation is now escalating as the agricultural sector failed to meet its grain production plan due to typhoon damage last year,” Kim said.

A series of typhoons last summer caused floods that destroyed thousands of homes and flooded farmland. Kim called for steps to minimize the impact of such natural disasters, saying ensuring a good harvest is a “top priority”.

The “long-term nature” of the coronavirus pandemic was also discussed at the meeting, KCTA reported. Pyongyang has a poor medical infrastructure and a chronic shortage of drugs, and analysts say a riot of coronavirus would wreak havoc in the isolated country.

North Korea imposed a strict lock when it sealed its border in January last year to stem the spread of the virus from neighboring China. Pyongyang has long claimed that there have been no cases of the virus – a statement that analysts doubt. But the country has paid a huge economic price for the blockade.

Trade with China, Pyongyang’s viable economy, has become a thin thread, while all international aid faces severe restrictions. The impact of the pandemic “is likely to have worsened” the humanitarian situation in the north, with about 10.6 million people in need, “said a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Here’s how to find out if there are nitrates in fruits and vegetables
Here’s how to find out if there are nitrates in fruits and vegetables

It is quite possible to check vegetables and fruits for the content of chemicals “by eye” and without certain laboratory tests. “Be especially careful about off-season vegetables and fruits,” said Georgi Suslyanok, an associate professor in the Department of Biotechnology at Moscow University.

“Naturally grown tomatoes should not be very large. If they look perfect, have a bright unnatural color and when cut, you see white streaks, then they most likely contain nitrates. Pay attention to the stalk – in chemically clean tomatoes it is not large “, stressed the specialist.

According to the expert, you should pay attention not only to the size, color and smell. For example, cucumbers must have seeds, and if they are almost absent, the vegetables are grown with pesticides.

Apples should be looked for in stains and other “small imperfections” because they simply indicate a lack of chemicals in them. And the presence of black dots on the strawberries betrays the content of nitrates. There should be no yellow fibers in the pulp of the watermelon. They are also a sign of nitrates.

Suslyanok advised not to buy vegetables and fruits out of season and, if possible, to give preference to local production.

An EWG study on fruits and vegetables showed which products had the highest pesticide content. Apples have the most chemicals and onions the least.

New research shows that apples on the market are the most contaminated compared to other fruits and vegetables we buy. After apples, peppers and celery are among the most dangerous products on the market.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) study aimed to identify the fruits and vegetables that are most dangerous to eat because of their high content of chemicals. The safest fruits and vegetables for consumption are also determined.

The purest were onions, pineapple and sweet corn. According to experts, they have the lowest content of chemicals.

Researchers claim that 68% of the products studied contain pesticides, as well as some chemicals that are banned for use in agriculture.

Organophosphates have been found in some of the fruits, which can cause problems in the nervous system. Such dangerous residues have also been found in baby food.

Controversy over Policy and Subsidies available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2021-2027
Controversy over Policy and Subsidies available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2021-2027

The EU’s new strategic agenda for 2019-2024 focuses on protecting citizens and freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

However, it is evident from the reports disclosed by NGOs, independent experts, researchers, the European Commission and the European Parliament that the structural funds are systematically and continuously being misused in direct breach of the rule of law and principles of good governance. For more than a decade independent observers, experts and NGOs have reported on corruption, misuse and the fraudulent use of European structural funds; in particular the agricultural and regional development funds.

Leaders of political parties represented in the European parliament tabled fresh proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with the aim to strengthen the provisions of the Green Deal and prevent further misuse of EU funds by oligarchs and groups often alleged to be involved in money laundering, corruption and fraud. The CAP provisions from 2021 to 2027 would provide the European member states with a budget of twenty-eight billion euros, apparently without sufficient safeguards to monitor the spending and sanction the misuse of these funds. If this were to happen, the European Commission, under the leadership of Vice President Frans Timmermans, would concede a serious set-back in its ambitious goals defined in the Green Deal and the Paris Climate Agreement, namely to achieve carbon neutrality, protect biodiversity and forests and lead the way to create new sources of renewable energy.

Members of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA recently launched a report called “Where does the EU money go?”, which describes the misuse of European agricultural funds in Central and Eastern Europe. It was launched in order to bring more transparency into the process of negotiating the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy for the years 2021-27. This report highlights the systemic weakness of the European Commission’s management of agricultural funds.

Viola von Cramon MEP, Greens/EFA member of the Budgetary Control Committee, comments:   “The evidence shows that EU agricultural funds are fuelling fraud, corruption and the rise of rich businessmen. Despite numerous investigations, scandals and protests, the Commission seems to be turning a blind eye to the rampant abuse of taxpayer’s money and member states are doing little to address systematic issues. The Common Agricultural Policy simply isn’t working. It provides the wrong incentives for how land is used, which damages the environment and harms local communities. The massive accumulation of land at the expense of the common good is not a sustainable model and it certainly shouldn’t be financed from the EU’s budget.

We cannot continue to allow a situation where EU funds are causing such harm in so many countries. The Commission needs to act, it cannot bury its head in the sand. We need transparency on how and where EU money ends up, the disclosure of the ultimate owners of large agricultural companies and an end to conflicts of interest. The CAP must be reformed just so it works for people and the planet and is ultimately accountable to EU citizens. In the negotiations around the new CAP, the Parliament team must stand firm behind mandatory capping and transparency.”

Mikuláš Peksa, Pirate Party MEP and Greens/EFA Member of the Budgetary Control Committee said: “We have seen in my own country how EU agricultural funds are enriching an entire class of people all the way up to the Prime Minister. There is a systemic lack of transparency in the CAP, both during and after the distribution process. National paying agencies in CEE fail to use clear and objective criteria when selecting beneficiaries and are not publishing all the relevant information on where the money goes. When some data is disclosed, it is often deleted after the mandatory period of two years, making it almost impossible to control.

Transparency, accountability and proper scrutiny are essential to building an agricultural system that works for all, instead of enriching a select few. Unfortunately, data on subsidy recipients are scattered over hundreds of registers, which are mostly not interoperable with the Commission’s fraud detection tools. Not only is it almost impossible for the Commission to identify corruption cases, but it is often unaware of who the final beneficiaries are and how much money they receive. In the ongoing negotiations for the new CAP period, we cannot allow the Member States to continue operating with this lack of transparency and EU oversight.”

The evidence shows that EU agricultural funds are fuelling fraud and corruption. Despite numerous investigations, scandals and protests, the Commission seems to be turning a blind eye to the rampant abuse of taxpayer’s money and member states are doing little to address systematic issues. The Common Agricultural Policy is quite simply in urgent need of revision. It provides damaging incentives for land administration harmful to the environment and local communities. The massive accumulation of land at the expense of the common good is not a sustainable model and it contravenes the provisions and principles set by the Green Deal.

EU farm policy reform: Council must be more flexible – we cannot waste more time
EU farm policy reform: Council must be more flexible – we cannot waste more time

Council’s lack of flexibility threatens security for EU farmers, Agriculture Committee Chair Norbert Lins warned, calling on Council to return to proper negotiations.

Chair of the Agriculture Committee and head EP negotiator on the post-2022 EU farm policy Norbert Lins (EPP, DE) issued the following statement after the lack of results in this week’s “supertrilogue” negotiations:

“For the past six months we have been negotiating in good faith, trying to deliver a greener, fairer and future-oriented Common Agricultural Policy for our farmers and consumers. This week, Parliament’s negotiators engaged in intensive talks trying to deliver a deal by the end of the week that would be fit for purpose and give member states and farmers enough time to prepare.

I am very disappointed that the Portuguese Council Presidency has broken off negotiations on the CAP today. If you want an agreement, you have to be ready to negotiate and be flexible. The Council Presidency seemed surprised that we did not simply rubber-stamp their compromise proposal, but stated our own red lines. I expect the Council to respect directly elected representatives as co-legislators. This is already the second reform after the Lisbon Treaty and the Parliament will not give up on our citizens’ expectations to give way to Council’s demands.

This step is bad for all our farmers and for climate and environmental protection. Farmers now lack planning security and urgently needed measures continue to be delayed. This is a serious blow to the negotiations, and I hope Council realises there are consequences to their stubborn approach.

In the coming days, we will discuss the recent developments internally. Parliament stands ready to resume negotiation with the Portuguese Council Presidency before the end of their mandate at the end of June, but only if Council shows more flexibility. I hope they return to the negotiating table with a renewed mandate to approve a truly sustainable farm policy that is fit for purpose.”

Click here to watch the press conference by lead EP negotiators that took place after this week’s “supertrilogue”.


The trilateral negotiations between the Parliament, Council and Commission on the post-2022 EU farm policy began in November 2020. The latest round of “supertrilogue” talks started on Tuesday morning.

The main sticking points that need to be resolved consist of green architecture of the future EU farm policy, including the financial envelope for eco-schemes and for other environment– and climate-friendly measures and rules for some of the so-called Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs), redistributive payment to channel more money to small and medium-sized farmers, and the social dimension of the CAP. On all these points, Parliament is more ambitious than the Council.