Why Buying USA-Grown Tomato Products Matters

Why Buying USA-Grown Tomato Products Matters

Where our food comes from has a huge impact, not only on the quality of the food we eat, but on our local economy and the farmers who grow our food. Learn more about why buying USA-grown tomato products matters with this informative blog.

Every visit to the grocery store or a restaurant is a chance for you to voice which products and companies you want to support. We vote with our food dollars. Do you want organic, less sugar, more flavors or lower prices? Your votes are tabulated through your purchases and ultimately your options/quality of products will improve. What about the country of origin? Why should this matter to a busy shopper who is just trying to put food on the table? Because where our food comes from has a huge impact, not only on the quality of the food we eat, but on our local economy and the farmers who grow our food.

Know what you’re getting! 

In a recent documentary “Empire of ‘Red Gold” the filmmaker set out to learn about the tomato products industry globally. He went to China, Italy, and California, the three largest growers of processed tomatoes. In China, he found pollution, terrible worker conditions, fraud and corruption with surprisingly similar issues in Italy. In fact, the legitimacy of so-called “San Marzano” tomato products exported to the U.S. has been often questioned. The issue is more well known regarding imported Olive Oil but is very similar. This has even been called out by the Italians themselves, who have been quoted as saying that as much as 95% of the “San Marzano” tomatoes being imported to America are not actually from the San Marzano Region at all. Questions abound about what is being added and where the tomatoes really come from. Indeed, in the documentary Empire of Red Gold, they found Chinese canned tomatoes being shipped to Italy and then being relabeled as Italian. When you buy American-grown canned tomatoes and tomato products, you can be confident that standards of sustainability, worker justice, safety, and over-all proud production practices are followed.

Quality: 

Everyone has heard the lore of “San Marzano” tomatoes from Italy. The celebrities on cooking shows or online often recommend them, but why? In many blind taste tests the USA-grown tomatoes are crowned the winner. People are often surprised by this, but it just comes down to marketing. So, like all things, it’s important to question the hype. You may favor one brand of tomato products over another—often it’s because you may have grown up with your grandma making “Sunday gravy” with that brand, but discover for yourself your own favorite brand. It’s important to not fall prey to the marketing hype or some celebrity that says you need to pay more for tomatoes shipped across the globe when the world’s best tomatoes are grown in our very own country. When the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen set out to make the perfect pizza sauce, they were SHOCKED when they discovered that the USA grown tomato product they tested far outshined any of the 10+ imported “San Marzano” canned tomatoes.

 

Global Impact: 

Surveys show that more than half of Americans consider sustainability when making food purchases. So, as we continue to learn more about the importance of sustainability and the global environmental footprint associated with our food choices, it emphasizes the urgency of purchasing foods that are produced locally, rather than those grown on the opposite side of the globe. Foods that are produced far away and are transported long distances produce a higher carbon footprint, which impacts climate change. Just think of how much fossil fuel it requires to ship tomato products from Italy or China, compared to simply purchasing products that are grown in the United States. Indeed, the sunny climate and rich soil in many parts of America are well suited for producing tomatoes, which is why they may be grown in family-owned farms with lower agricultural inputs than many other locations. It’s greener to purchase USA-grown tomatoes than fancy imported tomatoes, not to mention it’s better for your pocketbook.

Local Impact with USA-Grown Tomato Products: 

So, now you know how to read beyond marketing myths, actual taste differences, and global impact. But keep in mind what really matters the most: USA farmers. Right now the farmers that grow our food are struggling with global trade wars, tariffs, and increased costs up and down the supply chain. The people who get hit the hardest are the thousands of family farms and the workers that they employ, and the local economies built around agriculture that struggle to make a living feeding America. When you make your choice at the grocery store, you essentially decide who you will support: Either American farms and the communities they support, or foreign countries with questionable oversight, food safety, worker and health regulations, and often an inferior product.

 

When you buy USA-grown tomato products, this is who you’re supporting:

So when you’re making decisions for your family, going out to eat or picking out which canned tomato to buy, or ready to use marinara sauces on the retail shelf, frozen pizzas, lasagna in the freezer section, ketchup, salsa, etc remember the American families that are growing this food and decide who you want to support. Do the right thing! Buy local, delicious, USA-grown tomato products.

 

Alec Wasson

Alec Wasson

Chief Tomato Evangelist

Tomato Products Wellness Council


We are the voice of the tomato products industry. We love all things healthy, nutritious, delicious, and tomato!

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Benefits of Canned Tomato Products

Benefits of Canned Tomato Products

Do you prefer fresh, cooked, or canned tomatoes? While both are nutritious, cooked and canned tomatoes may actually contribute more to long-term health benefits in comparison to fresh tomatoes! Read on to learn more about the benefits of canned tomato products and how YOU can easily incorporate them into your daily recipes.

Thanks to busy schedules that leave little time for cooking nutritious meals at home, how are we expected to get all our nutrients in every single meal? This is a concern for many, so you are not alone. One easy, affordable way to secretly pack in those nutrients is by purchasing canned products, specifically canned tomatoes. These products range from tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salsa, and tomato sauce. They are easy to find at your local grocery store and contain incredible ingredients that will enable you to lessen your worries about obtaining proper nutrient intake.

In general, all tomato products help to improve the health of the general population, but an increasing amount of research studies have shown that there is more lycopene availability found in heated, cooked, or canned tomatoes when compared to fresh tomatoes—making them more effective in the long run. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, cooked tomatoes play more of an effective role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Unfortunate as it is, prostate cancer is one of the top 2 most common cancers in the world and has resulted in numerous deaths. However, recent science-based evidence has shown that the increase in lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, can help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The research study focused on the comparison between men who failed to consume any tomato products throughout the week with men who consumed canned and cooked tomatoes about five to six times a week. The results showed that those who consumed tomato products were able to reduce their risk of prostate cancer by 28%, which goes to show just how powerful food can play a role in our overall health.

Although the impacts of cooked and canned tomato products may outweigh the benefits of fresh tomatoes, it’s still useful to incorporate tomatoes into your weekly recipes so that you can achieve optimal health and reduce your risk of preventable cancers. Whether it’s pasta, pizza, or a taco dish, tomato products are super easy to use and will save you time and money while boosting your nutrient intake. So, what are you planning to whip up in the kitchen for your family this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Pizza Rolls with Homemade Marinara

Pizza Rolls with Homemade Marinara

Who doesn’t love pizza? Get your craving satisfied with these delightful Pizza Rolls with Homemade Marinara, perfect for a fun party appetizer or extra special side dish. This super simple recipe uses convenient and affordable ingredients like premade crescent rolls and canned diced tomatoes yet tastes just like a fresh homemade pizza.

You can feel good about serving these tasty bites with a savory sauce, as canned tomatoes are chock-full of nutrition. Did you know that canned tomatoes actually contain more of some nutrients than fresh? Lycopene, the plant compound that is responsible for giving tomatoes their signature red color, becomes more bioavailable when cooked, translating to more health benefits for you and your family. In order to achieve maximum health benefits associated with lycopene, it is recommended to consume tomato products with a heart healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado. That’s why we recommend enjoying lycopene and its health benefits through delicious foods such as lasagnacurries, and bolognese

Get the full recipe for Pizza Rolls with Homemade Marinara by visiting our friends at Pacific Coast Producers.

For other delicious recipes, check out some of our favorites:

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote
Easy Chicken Curry
Pizza Stuffed Chicken

Health-Promoting Effects of Tomatoes

Health-Promoting Effects of Tomatoes

Want to boost your nutrient intake while enjoying a delicious bowl of pasta? Well, you’re in luck! An increasing amount of research has shown that the consumption of canned tomatoes is the perfect opportunity to eat a scrumptious meal while incorporating the daily recommended vitamins and minerals to fuel your body. Read on to find out more about the health-promoting effects of tomatoes, a vibrant red fruit that is loved by many.

Eating well-balanced, plant-powered meals everyday can be challenging, especially if you are constantly on the go. If you are looking for ways to cook easy, nutrient-packed meals for you and your family to enjoy, yet might be lacking the time and energy to do so, we have the inside scoop for you—invest in canned tomato products! By doing so, you will be able to whip up home-made, tomato-based recipes in under 30 minutes, and who doesn’t want that?

The increase in tomato products around the world isn’t just a coincidence. In fact, the incorporation of canned tomato products in various recipes is an affordable, accessible, and sustainable option, which is why everyone is raving about canned tomatoes. Not only is there a massive amount of tomato production each year, but canned tomatoes also offer a great source of nutrients for the human body. This research study focuses on the bioactive compounds and health-promoting effects of tomatoes that make them incredibly effective and enhance quality of life. One of the many important components found in tomatoes includes lycopene, which has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Research studies provide sufficient evidence to suggest that tomatoes are powerful fruits, offering a ton of vitamins and minerals for our body’s to function properly. In fact, these nutrient-packed fruits have the power to prevent chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as obesity, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

When comprehending all this information about the benefits of canned tomatoes, it’s safe to say that canned tomatoes should be a staple in your pantry. Not only do they have the power to improve your long-term health, but they are incredibly versatile and easy to incorporate into numerous dishes!

Shepherd’s Pie Hot Dish

Shepherd’s Pie Hot Dish

One-skillet meals are the ultimate solution for getting delicious food on the table in no time, plus they make for easy clean up. This Shepherd’s Pie Hot Dish is a spin on the classic dish, made easier with pantry staples like canned tomatoes, and frozen tater tots. In less than an hour, you can prepare a hearty and nutritious meal your whole family will love.

With lean protein from ground beef, nourishing carbohydrates from potatoes, and colorful veggies like tomatoes and green beans, this one dish makes for a perfectly balanced meal. Canned diced tomatoes provide important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, improving your immune health, blood pressure, and protecting you against certain cancers, such as prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that men who consume more tomato products can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and since lycopene can be found in tomato products, there are anti-carcinogenic compounds. With early detection and higher intake of fruits and vegetables, prostate cancer can be reduced. Thus, it’s important to ensure that you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, so enjoy this delicious meal and feel good about what you are putting into your body!

Get the full recipe for Shepherd’s Pie Hot Dish by visiting our friends at Del Monte.

For other delicious recipes, check out some of our favorites:

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Bourbon Peach Compote
Easy Chicken Curry
Pizza Stuffed Chicken