Stay Away from Canned Tomatoes? Can the Cans?

I was shocked to read an article on Planet Green (posted on Facebook via CleanPlatesNYC) called, 7 Foods So Unsafe Even Farmers Won't Eat Them. There were a few frequent offenders like farmed salmon, corn-fed beef and hormone-produced milk (all not a problem for my vegan diet). But when I read the quip about canned tomatoes, I reached for my stacks of San Marzano canned tomatoes and began to whimper. Canned tomatoes a "no no" ? Really? Here's why, and what you can do about it...

Here is the "canned tomatoes" excerpt from the Planet Green article:

"1. Canned Tomatoes

The Expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The Reason: Tin cans are lined with a resin that contains the synthetic estrogen bisphenol-A, which has been linked to a slew of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, and obesity. But that's not the biggest problem. The acid in tomatoes breaks down that bisphenol-A, leaching it into the food, and not just in insignificant amounts. According to the article, Saal comments that "you can get 50 mcg of BCA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young." That's why he's not touching the stuff.
The Solution: If you lo0ve the taste of "canned" tomatoes but prefer to skip the bisphenol-A, select glass bottles instead."

read the complete article (all 7 foods) here, Planet Green.

Can-Free Solutions? I was quite shocked that I had never heard of this tomato can theory before. Thanks to CleanPlatesNYC for spreading this article around. (btw, Clean Plates NYC is an awesome NYC restaurant guide). So I replied to the post by CleanPlatesNYC on facebook:

"Wow the canned tomatoes one was very interesting. Kinda kills my san marzano tomato obsession!" -me

they replied back, "Pomi makes a few different tomato products in boxes and they can be found and bought online. Not sure about retail stores. Bionature makes strained tomatoes and tomato paste in glass jars and I am pretty sure is available at Whole Foods and small health food stores" - CleanPlatesNYC

So I looked into this...

Amazon sells a variety of Pomi products: Pomi products on Amazon

A commenter alerted me that Trader Joe's offers tomatoes in a Tetra Pak. Awesome! That's great news since I love Trader Joe's products and prices.

And I found these San Marzano tomatoes in a lovely glass jar:

I will also check Whole Foods Market to see if they carry any boxed or glass jarred tomatoes.

I certainly don't want to scare you, I'm sure most of us (including me) won't completely ban canned tomatoes from our diets (right now). But it is an interesting factoid that you may want to look into further.

Will I Buy Canned Tomatoes?

I will still buy canned tomatoes in moderation - until I can research a second opinion on this. Anyone want to weigh in??

PS on Packaging...

Another plus in using boxed or glass tomatoes is the fact that you won't be buying plastic. With all the concern over BPA - BPA free glass is my choice over plastic nowadays.

You are a Smarty Tomato for being inquisitive about the foods you eat!

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