Disasters can occur at any time and when they do, crops and livestock may be destroyed, and the householder is invariably faced with the question ‘How am I going to feed my family’? The extent to which the household is able to take care of its food and nutrition needs during these times of distress depends on:
(a) The level of preparedness for such emergencies
(b) Its knowledge of how to use wisely the food and related supplies at its disposal
(c) Its capacity to implement effective short term food recovery and rehabilitation measures to alleviate post-disaster shortages.
There are instances when a farmer is able to reap mature crops immediately before the disaster occurs, or salvage some of what remains at the end, and these can be processed into various products for storage and used at home, or as value-added products for income generation.
A crop of tomato, for example, is one which can have substantial quantities going to waste because they are highly perishable and do not store for a long time after reaping. To minimize waste, farmers and their families can convert excess tomatoes into Ketchup, at home.
Tomatoes are rich in:
• Vitamins and minerals which are important for health
• Lycopene, (the substance that makes tomatoes red) an antioxidant, which has cancer preventing properties.
Making Tomato Pulp
Before making ketchup you will need to first convert the tomatoes into a pulp as follows.
1. Select tomatoes that are ripe red, with a firm texture and are free from signs of bruises or mold growth.
2. Wash freshly harvested tomatoes in clean potable water, in a large bucket
3. Place tomatoes in a cooking pot, preferably stainless steel. Add water and boil until they are soft and the skins peel off easily; do not peel them.
4. Remove tomatoes from the pot using a large perforated spoon and place them in another container. Mash using a large wooden spoon.
5. Use a large household sieve to separate the tomato pulp from seeds and skin.
6. Discard the seeds and skins or feed them to your chickens and keep the pulp.
NB This pulp can be used as a substitute for whole tomatoes in cooking, or as a base for tomato paste, sauces, drinks and ketchup.
Making Tomato Ketchup
420 g tomato pulp
150 g brown sugar
300 g vinegar
300 g salt
70 g ground onion
30 g ground garlic
any other desired spices
1. Place tomato pulp in a large pot and mix thoroughly
2. Add vinegar, salt, onion and garlic. Mix well
3. Bring mixture to the boil; stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.
4. Allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes.
5. Pour into sterilized food grade plastic or glass bottles and cap or seal
6. Place bottles in a pan of cold water and continue cooling the bottles by changing the water in the pan.
7. Store at room temperature for up to 6 months
8. Use as a tasty sauce