One of the great standbys in the pantry or the store cupboard in your kitchen is a can or two of tomatoes - but now this convenience food has been declared one of the “7 foods even safety experts won't eat”.
The expert in the case of canned tomatoes is Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri, who studies bisphenol-A. He quotes the problem as being that the resin linings of tin cans contain Bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Most of us have heard of BPA in plastics
Unfortunately, and because tomatoes are high in acidity, this causes BPA to leach from the resin lining of the tin can into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s bodies now exceeds the amount that can suppress sperm production or cause chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals.
Fredrick vom Saal says: “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people,
particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
So what is the solution?
Change from canned tomatoes to buying those in glass bottles or jars (or if you get a large crop of tomatoes in your own garden, how about preserving your own?). Brands such as Bionaturae and Coluccio supply jars of tomatoes while Trader Joe's and Pomi provide tomatoes in Tretra Pak boxes as an alternative.
For the cream of the crop, both in product and packaging, you can go to Eden Foods. They have recently announced the launch of their protective amber glass 14 and 25 ounce jars of organic crushed tomatoes and sauces in their line of shelf stable organic tomatoes. Apparently, they are the only tomatoes in the USA packed in amber glass to protect both the flavor and nutrients from light damage.
These products include:
- Organic Spaghetti Sauce
- No Salt Spaghetti Sauce
- Pizza Pasta Sauce
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Crushed Tomatoes with Sweet Basil and
- Crushed Tomatoes with Roasted Onion & Garlic
They are all now available in these new, protective amber glass containers
Eden Foods decided to change to amber glass jars in order to avoid the presence of bisphenol-A (BPA) in high acid food cans because of the failure of the can manufacturers to make BPA-free cans specially for tomatoes.
Light can cause discoloration and affect the flavor of the tomatoes through chemical changes in food when they are in plain glass
Photo-oxidation (light damage) is systemic in food stores. This is because fluorescent lighting, in particular, reduces food quality. Amber glass is difficult to get and more costly, but offers the best protection for food. Of course, amber glass is also free of the endocrine disrupter chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).
And to add to your enjoyment, Eden Foods tell us that their organic crushed tomatoes and sauces are made exclusively from fresh, red, ripe, unpeeled Midwestern organic Roma tomatoes (also known as Italian plum) along with 100% organic herbs and spices - some with no salt added. While most sauces are made from tomato concentrates, Eden tomatoes only have to travel 45 miles before they are washed, hand sorted, cooked and jarred (all within hours of harvest) ensuring maximum flavor, aroma and nutrients. And of course it goes without saying that no processing aids or additives are used. All ingredients are listed on the label.
More information about Roma tomatoes
Roma tomatoes are ideal for canning and using in delicious sauces because they have few seeds. Worldwide, Romas are prized for their deep color, rich mild sweet flavor and low acidity while their dense, meaty flesh and low moisture content make them feel heavy for their size. Added health benefits to enjoy are that they are the highest in the antioxidant lycopene
. Organic versions are higher still in lycopene, giving the customer up to 14.4 milligrams of this highly acclaimed and protective antioxidant per serving.
Don't forget to look out for fresh organic Roma tomatoes too as they are usually available in the USA from early November to the end of May from your local Farmers Market or the fresh produce department of your local store.
The sweeter varieties are perfect for eating fresh or adding to salads or recipes.