Going Outdoors? Wear Sunscreen & Eat Tomatoes

June’s edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine featured a section on sun safety.


Immediately what came to my mind were things like: pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, gelato, tiramisu, wine, espresso, etc. Wonderful leisurely meals outside in olive groves with long wooden tables laden with delicious food and endless carafes of wine.

A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that consuming as little as 1-1/3 tablespoons of tomato paste a day reduced sunburn risk by about 33 percent. “Tomatoes contain a high amount of the antioxidant lycopene, which mitigates the effects of the sun’s rays on skin and helps reduce skin-cell damage,” says Jessica Wu, an L.A.-based dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face (St. Martin’s Griffin; 2011).


Drinking a cup of coffee (or two cups of tea) per day reduces the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer by about 5 percent. Caffeine may signal precancerous cells to self-destruct, says Allan Conney, director of the Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers University.

There you have it. In preparation for summer’s brutal rays, slather on sunscreen, eat tomato paste and drink coffee (or tea) daily. O…k…

I take the information for what it’s worth. They’re only a couple of sentences each…years of research reduced to a couple of sentences. However, I don’t mind the thumbs up on tomatoes and coffee. “Rock on!” I say. In the spirit of preparing for the outdoors and creating something wonderful to eat, I made marinara sauce. After viewing Alice Lau’s blog post on Spaghetti Bolognese, I was inspired to whip up a spaghetti dish of my own.

All images ©2012 Sriprae P. McDonald

4 thoughts on “Going Outdoors? Wear Sunscreen & Eat Tomatoes

  1. So lovely Sriprae, the sunshine is clearly in these dishes and I love that you were inspired to create some pasta magic of your own! I’m a little in love with that beautiful crockery you have there too 🙂

    • Thank you, Alice! That crockery was my mother’s from when she was a young wife. She gave it to me years ago (along with other kitchen items) when I moved into my own place. It has come in handy many times!

  2. This looks nicer than the doughnuts!! I already drink plenty of tea and some coffee just need to get some tomato paste on the menu now! I like the choice of crop in these pictures too! 🙂

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