Monday, April 12, 2010

Tomato Trauma

I started off my work-week by bringing in some pasta with my homemade sauce to eat for lunch today. As I ate, I told my coworker of my Marinara Sauce mission on Saturday morning and how, for the sake of my husband, I had to make sure there were pre-made meals ready to go in case he got sick again! I began to discuss the recipe and how many cans of tomatoes I had used, when my coworker interjected with, "I know you are concerned with food and everything, have you heard about how the canned tomatoes are bad for you?"

I was so happy and horrified at the same time. On Saturday evening I actually said to my husband, " I don't even remember how to peel tomatoes. I think it is a pain in the butt." He asked why I mentioned it and I explain that I wasn't sure how I felt about the cans, even though that was how my family had always done it. I did, however, point out to him that the fresh tomatoes would probably make for a truly delectable sauce and, for that reason alone, I would someday undertake this mission of peeling.

So, when my friend at work, Chris, laid this bombshell on me about the canned tomatoes, I simply imagined myself in a big mess of tomato juice, peels and seeds, hopelessly trying to peel some tomatoes. Even so, I needed to know what was wrong with the canned tomatoes!! He said he couldn't remember it exactly, but it was something about the cans leeching some chemical into the tomatoes - gross! I decided to Google it and impressed Chris with my Googling skills, when I began to read, out loud, the same article he read. It was a wealth of information.

The article is called The 7 Foods Experts Won't Eat and it, evidently made a lot of news when it first came out, but I must have been unwilling, or at least, not ready (it looks like it was published right around THANKSGIVING time!), to hear what it said. Well, I am more than ready now! I highly recommend that you read this article ASAP and in order to accommodate you with the appropriate time required to do so (and, in turn, share the news with your friends and family once you have finished reading), I will stop writing right now.


  1. This is probably one of the worst pieces of information that I can find out! I read the article and am heartbroken. It is bringing to light the huge challenge that such a lifestyle change can bring about - breaking the routine. Last time I was in Pastosa I bought a case of 24 cans of crushed tomatoes. It is my ultimate "back-up" for a quick meal or for entertaining large groups. The idea that I now would have to change the routine that very upsetting. I've already had to change my grocery store from the one I can walk to from home to somewhere I have to drive because they don't have organics. Everything that comes in an organic form should be considered over the alternative. Further, prices go up when buying organic. I thought I was doing okay with the Pastosa tomatoes since they don't have preservatives. Now there is something else. I find myself thinking that my family has used these cans for as long as I can remember and nothing has ever happened. Is it really that terrible? Then I remind myself that by starting small, I can hopefully be healthier and have fewer headaches. I'm looking forward to making these changes to help the health of not only myself but my family, husband, and future children. It takes a lot to make this kind of commitment to changes like this. I also have to remind myself that these changes will not happen overnight. Gradual is the only way. I have to try to break my "all-or-nothing" mentality and start with finding a new routine where I am not looking at this a burden but an opportunity to make things better.

    PS - Knowing someone else is on the same path is helpful and encouraging. :)

  2. So, being exasperated myself with this, I kept reading some of the other links that came up on my Google search of "canned tomatoes and health" and found this one to be rather comforting:

    I can say that a realistic canned tomato alternative is definitely on my watch list. And yet, growing up half Sicilian with my Irish mother pretty much learning 80% of her cooking from her Sicilian mother-in-law, I, too find it difficult to understand a home without some San Marzanno canned tomatoes dwelling on some pantry shelf awaiting any celebration, crisis, huge Sunday dinner, or any other random meal when family or friends need to eat, enjoy and share. These silly cans mean so much more than the mere physical nourishment they provide!

    We will find a way, or we will find a compromise. My grandparents lived to the ages of 94 and 95. This is my justification... however, I wonder - for how many of those years did they use cans? Of course, it is for as long as I can remember, but do I believe the couple that received live chickens and eggs as their wedding gifts back in Palazzo Adriano, Siciliy actually used canned tomatoes for their ENTIRE life? Nope. So... I weigh both sides, I wonder if I can go back to the ways of the old country, or if I will end up doing something convenient, and maybe dangerous (or maybe not!).... What if, on THIS I compromise?

    Oooo... that's a scary thought. I have time to mull this one over, as do you, Erica. I have a ton of marinara sauce that I JUST made that I simply REFUSE to waste. And you, my lady, have a case of tomatoes that you simply can NOT waste. Give it time. We will think of something yet!


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