Shop local: why USA tomato products reign supreme

Shop local: why USA tomato products reign supreme

When you shop local, you support the local community, reduce your carbon footprint, and get higher-quality products. From transportation woes to budgetary advantages, here’s why USA tomato products reign supreme. 

Did you know you vote with your food dollars? Every time you visit a grocery store or order food at a restaurant, you have the opportunity to voice which products and companies you want to support. From organic offerings to budget-friendly prices, your purchases speak for themselves and will ultimately help determine if the quality of products will improve or not.

This doesn’t just stop here–it also extends to the product’s country of origin. Where your food comes from has a major impact on the quality of food, the local economy, and farmers who grow it. When you shop local, you can positively impact the environment and even your wallet. 

Here’s why you should consider prioritizing USA grown tomato-based products, and how your purchases can make a difference. 

Sustainable choices

Surveys show that 77% of Americans consider sustainability when making food purchases. Some reasons for this include:

  • desire to protect and preserve the environment
  • better quality/taste
  • show their support for companies who are doing the right thing
  • healthier products

Sustainable food doesn’t just come from packaging–it also stems from transportation costs and where the product was originally grown.

For instance, tomatoes grown overseas have to be transported to America, which incurs overseas transport, more fossil fuel usage, and ultimately a larger carbon footprint. Compare that to tomato products grown in the USA: you get to save on transportation costs, lower your carbon footprint, and still get the same quality compared to those grown anywhere in the world. It’s a win-win situation! Plus, you know food safety, worker safety and regulations in the USA are very different from other countries that are not taking care of their land or their workers. You can dig deeper into this here. 

Don’t fall prey to marketing hypes

Have you heard someone say that they need to pay more for Italian tomatoes because they are more exotic? Don’t fall prey to this train of thought! USA grown tomatoes are just as high of quality as those from Italy, and may even be better, especially considering that the economical and environmental benefits are much higher.  

Fun fact: Did you know that USA grown tomatoes have won numerous blind taste tests against those from Italy? Check out this video to see how tomatoes from America stack up against Italian ones!  

How can you shop local?

You can shop local by supporting those who grow your food. After all, the best way to thank a farmer is to buy from them! They work incredibly hard every day to bring you the highest quality canned tomato products. Plus, farmers give their best effort to preserve the soil and keep their manufacturing as climate friendly as possible.

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 where you don’t know about their oversight, food safety, worker and health regulations, and often an inferior product.

Check out this video to learn more about our hardworking tomato farmers in the US. 


Keeping it local is the way to go. Supporting our USA farmers has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting the product into the United States. This may seem small but the more times we make the choice to keep our purchases local, the better the effects will be on the environment down the road. By doing this, you will also be pouring back into your community and supporting local initiatives to reduce waste and protect the environment. So the next time you are craving a dish that requires canned tomatoes, shop local! 

Check out these other articles on why USA-grown tomatoes reign supreme:

Canned Tomato Challenge: San Marzano vs. USA
The Fake Rolex of Canned Foods
Why Buying USA-Grown Tomato Products Matters

California Walnut Salsa

California Walnut Salsa

This nutritious California Walnut Salsa recipe is not only packed with flavor, but it can be prepared in under 10 minutes. This specific salsa recipe also contains roasted red peppers, jalapeno peppers, and toasted walnuts—giving it an extra kick of flavor and crunch. All you need to do is stir all the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl, cover, and refrigerate it until it’s ready to serve. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Serve it up with your favorite veggies and a side of whole-wheat tortilla chips for a tasty snack that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

What’s the key ingredient to any salsa? That’s right, tomatoes! Every salsa requires tomatoes, and canned diced tomatoes do just the trick to create a simple, flavorful salsa. Not only do canned tomatoes provide a boost of juiciness to a dish, but they also have numerous health benefits. This specific recipe calls for canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but you can also use regular canned diced tomatoes for a different flavor profile. The mixture of onions, fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and spices provides the perfect combination of savory and spicy flavor. Don’t be shy and feel free to add more spices and veggies for even more spice!

While fresh, chopped tomatoes can be used for salsa, it’s actually better to use the canned version! Research has shown that canned tomatoes are actually higher in nutritional value than fresh tomatoes due to the canning process (and they’re more affordable). When canned tomatoes are placed into their homes (aka the cans), they are stored at nutritional peak, providing them with maximum nutrition. What’s not to love about that? So, incorporate some nutrients into your daily diet than by enjoying a refreshing bowl of salsa.

Get the full recipe for California Walnut Salsa by visiting our friends at California Walnuts.

For other delicious dip recipes, check out:

Tomato Pesto Hummus

USA grown tomatoes are the best tomatoes in the world!

USA grown tomatoes are the best tomatoes in the world!

You don’t need to buy canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or food for that matter from outside the U.S. for better quality in taste and nutrition. Eating U.S. grown canned tomatoes and tomato products can help protect the environment, support local farmers, and you’ll still benefit from high quality taste and nutrition because USA grown tomatoes are the best tomatoes in the world!

Tomatoes are a nutrient-dense food and one of the healthiest fruits on the planet, packed with a variety of nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants like lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful nutrient that has been shown in research to help decrease risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. When tomatoes are heated, the body actually absorbs lycopene more, becoming more bioavailable compared to eating tomatoes that have not been heated. This is because the cell walls of lycopene are broken down further when tomatoes are heated, making it easier for our bodies to absorb and transport it. All canned tomatoes are cooked, making them a great choice for maximizing lycopene and nutrition overall.

However, you don’t need to purchase canned tomatoes and tomato products coming from outside the U.S. to obtain these benefits. In fact, eating U.S. grown tomato products will provide not only health benefits for yourself but be good for the environment too. Buying tomato products made outside the U.S. must travel a longer distance to get to you, meaning more transport costs, more pollution, all adding to the climate change problem and affecting the environment. The greater the distance food travels, the more energy the transportation consumes and the more CO2 it will release. These emissions have a significant impact on air quality and contribute to global warming. Transporting by air generates 50 times more CO2 than any other type of transport, making it the worst mode of transport, followed by road. Although sea shipping may be at the bottom of the list, sea shipping is slow, and in our increasing demand for food, food is increasingly being shipped by faster and more polluting means.

Rest assured there is something we all can do to help reduce food miles and help the environment, and that is simply purchasing canned tomatoes and tomato products grown on U.S. soil. Doing this will help reduce international food transport, greenhouse gasses emitted, improve our carbon footprint, save us money, support local farmers, benefit from high-quality tomatoes and nutrition, and overall help protect our planet. Consuming USA tomato products taste better and will not have traveled far, therefore no additional energy will have been used to transport them-imagine all the fossil fuel that could be saved! The benefits of purchasing American-grown canned tomatoes and tomato products are having the peace of mind knowing what you are getting with each product, consuming high-quality tomatoes, and the positive impact you are creating at a local and global level. In the documentary called “Empire of Red Gold” the filmmaker not only found fraud, pollution, and terrible worker conditions in China and Italy tomato processing centers, but also found Chinese canned tomatoes being shipped to Italy and being relabeled as Italian. Unlike China and Italy, U.S. grown tomato products follow standards of sustainability, worker justice, and safety. USA farmers need our support as they are struggling with global trade wars, tariffs, and increased costs up and down the supply chain. Therefore, choosing local tomato products also supports our local farmers and communities.

So, the next time you find yourself at the grocery store deciding on different canned tomatoes or any other type of tomato products like salsa, ketchup, marinara sauces, etc. remember the positive impact you can make and the American farmers you can help support by simply purchasing delicious local American-grown tomatoes.


Fatima De Haro is an RD2BE from Bakersfield, California. She received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis and will start her coordinated program in dietetics this upcoming fall through the University of Vermont where she will receive her M.S. in Dietetics and complete the dietetic internship. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and believes that by incorporating nutrient-dense foods and being physically active, we can help prevent, control, and cure certain illnesses. In her spare time she enjoys being with family and friends, as well as hiking, trying new food, and cooking. Her goal is to become a clinical registered dietitian.