After 15 years, Aaron Barcellos the Chairman of the Tomato Products Wellness Council is stepping down. We thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of the whole USA tomato products industry. We have dealt with a number of highs and lows and the state of the TPWC is bigger and stronger than ever. A big part of that is thanks to Aaron and our whole board of voluntary members that do the heavy lifting for the whole industry. Without this collaborative effort, the USA tomato products industry would not be as strong as it is today.
Aaron is a partner with his family farming operation A-Bar Ag Enterprises in Firebaugh California, and is a fourth-generation farmer. His family started in Dairy but now his farm produces crops, including pistachios, cotton, olives, pomegranates, and (his favorite) tomatoes. He’s been featured on all the major networks for his insight into the long-standing California drought, and he was featured in a podcast during the lockdown about what it meant for farmers. He’s also leading the next generation of farmers forward and Tomato Wellness has featured his nephew Jake several times for field updates.
National Canned Food Month is a great opportunity to recognize the benefits and convenience of canned food, especially canned tomatoes. Restaurants and families can benefit from celebrating this occasion by highlighting the versatility, affordability, and long shelf life of canned tomatoes.
First and foremost, canned tomatoes are an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to pasta sauces and salsas. They are also available in different forms, such as whole, diced, crushed, or pureed, making them easy to incorporate into any recipe. And they’re available ALL YEAR LONG! Because they’re packed and sealed at the peak of freshness, you can enjoy the taste of summer even in the cold and gloomy months (more on that in the next article from The New York Times).
Canned food is also on par with fresh fruit nutritionally, BUT in the unique case of tomatoes, the canned version actually is even better for you thanks to the heating process which releases the lycopene and makes it 2-3 X MORE bioavailable. This is a fantastic bonus for these delicious products that any Italian Grandmother is going to tell you is your best choice for cooking anyway!
Whether you are a restaurant looking to offer affordable and nutritious menu options, or a family looking for pantry staples that can be used in a variety of meals, canned foods are an excellent ingredient to feature all year long.