An excerpt from a letter, found in the Library of Congress, between Abraham Lincoln, and someone that would become his nemesis later on, Clement Vallandigham. An Ohio opponent of the Civil War and of abolition, he hated canned tomatoes and eventually was thrown out of the country by Abraham Lincoln because of his views. As a result of his banishment, Vallandigham became a martyr to his cause and was nominated for governor by the Democratic Party in 1863. He ran the race from exile. The stakes in this colorful campaign were enormous, and Lincoln was highly involved, worrying that a Vallandigham victory would be seen as a rejection of the war by voters. That could have been devastating to the Union cause. Many historians wonder if it all started over their disagreement about canned tomatoes:
My dear friend, let me tell you why canned tomatoes are so great.
Firstly, canned tomatoes are a testament to human ingenuity and innovation. They are the result of years of hard work by farmers, food scientists, and engineers who sought to preserve the bounty of the tomato harvest for year-round consumption.
Secondly, canned tomatoes are incredibly versatile. They can be used in a wide range of dishes, from hearty stews to refreshing salads. They add depth and flavor to sauces, soups, and casseroles, and can even be used as a base for homemade ketchup.
Thirdly, canned tomatoes are a healthy and nutritious addition to any diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help boost the immune system, protect against disease, and promote overall health and wellness.
Finally, canned tomatoes are a symbol of resilience and perseverance. Just as the tomato plant can weather storms and overcome adversity, so too can we as individuals and as a society. In the face of challenges and difficulties, we can draw strength and inspiration from the humble tomato, and its enduring legacy of nourishment and sustenance.
So, my dear friend, I hope you now understand why canned tomatoes are so great. They are a testament to human ingenuity, versatility, health, and resilience, and are truly one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity.
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, Los Gatos Tomatoes. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family!
For over three decades, Los Gatos Tomato Products has earned a reputation for their commitment to customers and the environment as an industry-leading supplier of high-quality tomato paste. Their strong commitment to the industry, coupled with a focus on long-term relationships with customers and growers, make it an honor to profile this Tomato Wellness founding member.
Los Gatos Tomato Products was established in 1991 in the heart of Western Fresno County with the objective of growing and harvesting tomatoes from the most productive growing region in the world with a singular focus on producing high-quality tomato paste. Presently, four families with multi-generational farming operations and deep roots in agriculture serve as both committed growers and owners with shared values and commitment to a sustainable future.
The location of the processing facility is environmentally advantageous because of the short transit time from field to processing, with the majority of tomatoes grown within a close proximity to the plant. Long term relationships with growers and customers allows for alignment in the production of high-quality tomato paste tailored to customer needs and specifications.
The dedicated team at Los Gatos Tomato Products has built their reputation on quality and consistency over the years. Their customers have come to rely on a trusted supply of high-quality tomato paste for their products.
We applaud the values of Los Gatos Tomato Products as an authentically quality and sustainably minded processor and appreciate their contributions to our industry.
Try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!
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.
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, California Tomato Growers Association. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family.
The California Tomato Growers Association has been supporting growers and the processing tomato industry since 1947 to ensure the stability, viability, and prosperity of the processed tomato industry. The CTGA is involved in every phase of the state’s processing tomato industry, from the economics of establishing a fair price to involvement with international trade, technological advances, public policy advocacy, and assisting growers with all aspects of their production and marketing. They recognize that after the growers’ hard work and expense of raising a crop, fair grading is essential. For this reason, the CTGA worked to form the California Processing Tomato Advisory Board and continues to be involved in this service today.
They also understand that scientific and technological discoveries allow growers to prosper in the highly competitive global tomato business. Therefore, in conjunction with the California Tomato Research Institute and private and public agencies, the CTGA has supported and assisted with a broad range of tomato-related research efforts. This research gives the grower the edge to produce a tomato crop second to none. Finally, their advocacy work for policies like the Bracero Farm Worker Program, which enables workers from Mexico to work here in the United States to support their families through a work permit, really sets them apart when it comes to assisting all aspects of the tomato processing industry. It helps to know that with the support of an organization such as this, the industry remains prosperous, the growers are taken care of, and the quality of the product is ensured.
We absolutely admire the CTGA and their passion for their members, industry, and products. Join us in honoring an exceptional organization.
To show your appreciation, order extra red sauce on your pasta or pizza tonight or try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, Ingomar Packing Company. We are proud to have this company as part of the Tomato Wellness Family and read to the end to see how in one of the worst droughts California has ever seen, they have figured out how to grow their own water!
Ingomar Packing Company is known as a premium supplier of industrial tomato products. Operating out of Los Banos, CA, they now have two processing facilities to ensure the consistency in producing high quality tomato products. Their tomato products include tomato paced and diced tomatoes which are world-renowned for their premium quality and taste.
What makes this organization so special is their continued support for their local community, their close attention to customer needs and their emphasis on environmental sustainability. Their business model highly relies on the local relationships they have with tomato growers. This relationship allows for community support and direct communication concerning the farm to processing procedure.
Each customized process guarantees that people receive their desired level of consistency and quality of diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Throughout the process, field, production, and QA teams ensure the utmost color, flavor, and texture of the tomatoes, which make them a perfect ingredient base in a wide array of products.
The attention to detail can also be traced back to the equipment that is used for processing, as the needs of the customer are taken into consideration when packing every order. In 2010, Ingomar Packing Company established an initiative to cut back on waste products and pollutants to protect the environment and continue to stay mindful of their environmental impact. They installed solar panels and have a system to minimize overall water waste.
And maybe most exciting of all, they have partnerd with an Australian company to extract the water from the tomatoes to be purified, repurposed and made available as drinking water! In a time where we are all facing historic drought condifitions, this is a monumental breakthrough. Watch this video to learn more!
We absolutely adore Ingomar Packing Company and their passion for their community and their products. Try one of their tomato products in some of our favorite recipes!
Get the scoop on Tomato Wellness member, Stanislaus Foods. We are proud to have this family-run company as part of the tomato community!
Stanislaus Foods has been a landmark in the central valley of California for 80 years. In 1942, they first opened their doors in the heart of Modesto, California. They take pride in offering high-quality tomato products to chefs and Italian restaurants throughout the country. Their lineup includes a variety of options from whole peeled and diced tomatoes, purees, and pastes to fully prepared pizza and pasta sauces.
“You can’t make good wine from bad grapes,” is a motto that the Cortopassi’s stand by in their effort to make great-tasting tomato products. They took the values instilled from their Italian parents and grandparents. Hard work, doing your best, not cutting corners, and keeping your word are just a few of the “real Italian” values they brought into their business. As a family-owned business, they make it a point to work with farmers who share their passion and beliefs.
To ensure consistency in their products, each load of tomatoes is evaluated to determine key flavor characteristics. Their Raw Product Lab is unique to Stanislaus Foods and allows them to make necessary adjustments to continue to offer the same great-tasting product in each and every can. We are OBSESSED with their Basil Room! It’s always our favorite part of their tour.
Welcome a piece of the Cortopassi family into your home by trying one of their traditional Italian recipes.