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. 

Summary

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

Why Buying USA-Grown Tomato Products Matters

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.

 


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