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Jun 29, 2008 11:42 AM

Looking for tomatoes for cooking that aren't canned.

I'm trying to stay away from bisphenol-A (which, I understand, lines mass-marketed canned tomatoes). I generally use a lot of tomatoes in cooking (so it's not practical to use fresh tomatoes---though if I could keep enough in the house to use fresh I would) and I'm now at a bit of a loss as to how to purchase them. Has anyone seen an alternative way to buy tomatoes (perhaps bottled)? For some reason, spaghetti sauce is always sold in glass bottles but I never see just plain tomatoes sold that way.

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  1. I think you're being a bit phobic given the panoply of trace toxins we all face but bottled sauce seems your only hope until the late summer glut arrives. I'd get ready for some serious canning now if your goal is to skip canned product altogether.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      I actually don't have to skip canned goods together. One of the organic companies has switched from bisphenol-A lining for all but their tomatoes--because of consumer concerns (I understand they have to continue to use it for tomatoes because of the acidity). And yeah, maybe I am phobic but who knows what horrible findings will come out in the next year or two to finalize the debate about this compound in canned goods? Also when you eat as many canned tomatoes as I did (about 7 ounces a day), that's a lot of bisphenol-A to be consuming.

      1. re: Ediblethoughts

        Then cook imported fresh plum tomatoes. I always wonder about pesticide residue and bacteria levels on those, though.

        1. re: Kagemusha

          That requires a ton of fresh tomatoes to meet my needs--and a ton of freezer space (which I don't have). And more time than I currently have. Which is why I'd like to buy them in an easy-to-use form. (You are right though--the pesticide issue is one I do think about with non-organic canned tomatoes.)

        2. re: Ediblethoughts

          Yeah, until someone looks into it and figures out that there some other worse toxin in the liners the organic company is using...

          1. re: detritus

            This is what Eden Organic says they do re canned beans: Eden Organic Beans are packed in lead free tin covered steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel lining that does not contain bisphenol-A (BPA). (Oleoresin is a natural mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir).


            I think it sounds reasonably promising (preferable to me to the plastic option) but, yes, time will tell.

            1. re: Ediblethoughts

              The Eden tomatoes in Loblaws come from Canada, possibly Utopia. You could e mail Loblaws.

              1. re: jayt90

                Aren't those canned tomatoes? (I'm pretty sure Eden uses the BPA in their canned tomatoes.)

                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                  Yes, Eden owns up to that. In your previous post, you said Eden sounds reasonably promising. They claim that bisphenol-A is held to a minimum, and, in their website, they claim they get their fruits and vegs, within 250 miles of their MI location.
                  That is good enough for me.
                  The Eden canned tomatoes in Loblaws are $3.50, and clearly state they are a product of Canada. So that has to be S.W. Ontario to meet their 250 mile standard.
                  Right beside them, in the Loblaws organic section, are cans of Thomas Utopia organic tomatoes, from Chatham, ON (actually the Kerr farm), at $1.69. They may be the same crop as Eden, but I don't know if the canning process is the same.
                  It is worth checking.

                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                      I found this information from Eden: their canned tomatoes do indeed come from the Kerr farm which is on the southern outskirts of Chatham, ON. And they are canned by Thomas Utopia, in Essex county.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        But then the question of what they line their cans with still remains, right?

                        1. re: Ediblethoughts

                          From their website:

                          Are Eden's canned tomatoes packed in cans with enamel lining that contain bisphenol-A?
                          Eden Organic Tomatoes are packed in steel cans coated with a baked on r-enamel lining. Due to the acidity of tomatoes, the lining is epoxy based and may contain a minute amount of bisphenol-A, it is however in the 'non detectable' range according to independent laboratory extraction tests. The test was based on a detection level at 5 ppb (parts per billion).

                          1. re: Otonabee

                            Thanks for checking that out. Sounds like going with Eden's tomatoes may be the best way to go depending on what Utopia says about their cans. Of course, I'll still look for those jars...

                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                              Let us know if they reply. Utopia is tempting, the same farm and cannery, at half the price. If you are still, concerned, Eden is a fine product and I'm glad they source tomatoes in Ontario.

      2. I've seen jarred tomatoes. not sauce, just jarred tomatoes. They might be pulverized a bit, but not a sauce with spices, etc. added. The kind you'd "can" in jars if you were Italian an had a pressure canner in your back yard. I can't think of the name of the brand(s), but I'm pretty sure I just saw some at Maselli's on the Danforth. I'm sure I've seen at Loblaws also. I'd imagine you could find them at Whole Foods or Pusateri's as well.

        5 Replies
        1. re: pescatarian

          I didn't think that was available at Loblaws but next time I'm there, I'll ask (and will try the other two if Loblaws doesn't have it). That is just what I wanted to get--and so knowing they are out there helps. If anyone does know a brand name, that would be great.

          1. re: Ediblethoughts

            I look for a name next time I see them. there's a store near me on O'Connor that I think might have them also. It's called Select Bakery, but they have a lot of jarred vegetables, Italian and Greek style.

              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                I was at that Bakery I mentioned above, yesterday and they have strained and crushed tomatoes (nothing added) in tall jars by Aurora brand.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  Any whole tomatoes by any chance? I like pieces of tomatoe if possible. Overall it sounds like I'm going to have to stray somewhat outside my Y & E hood to find these products!

        2. Pomi tomatoes are tetra packed. You can find them at Highland Farms.

          1 Reply
          1. re: plavka

            They are good, worth the price. Highland Farms also has Italian tomatoes (chopped) in jars, in the same aisle.

          2. Yummy food market in North York. Small tomatoes are sold like pickles, but they do not really taste "pickeled". Worth trying

            1 Reply
            1. I read that Eden Foods sells their canned beans in cans that don't have BPA in the lining, it might be the same for the tomatoes. Check at the Big Carrot, Noah's, etc.
              Loblaws and No Frills and the little Italian grocers along the Danforth sell bottled crushed/pureed tomatoes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hoagy294

                I read an article saying they couldn't get away from using BPAs with the tomatoes due to the acidity and the article on their site ( is pretty quiet about the lining of the tomatoes. I'm pretty sure Noah's doesn't have the bottled tomatoes (I go to the one at Y & E quite often) but no harm in asking.