aug-12-2009-518

I read awhile back that almost all canned food contains BPA (which you can read about here) in the lining of the can. We go through a lot of canned tomatoes when they are not in season so I thought I’d do a bit of investigating to see if there was a brand of tomatoes that did not use BPA in their lining. Sadly, I found none.

I contacted Delallo since I heard a rumor that they did not use BPA. Here was their response:

Unfortunately, items such as tomatoes must have a liner to preserve the integrity of the product; it is also my understanding that can liners are universally made using BPA.  Until the container manufacturers find a BPA free liner; I believe all can liners have some level of BPA present.

Dennis Johnston
Food Safety Director
George DeLallo Company

I then contacted Eden Foods since I also heard that their tomatoes may be BPA free. Their response:

Eden Organic Tomatoes are packed in tin covered 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. These tests were based on a detection level at 5 ppb (parts per billion), the lowest detection level currently available.
Sandra K. Baker
Eden Foods, Inc.
Sales Administrator

aug-12-2009-514So even though Eden claims their BPA levels are undetectable I was still a bit leery and we thought it best to try to preserve our own tomatoes this year. Besides their are many more reasons to preserve your own food than avoiding BPA.

  • They are a frugal alternative to the super expensive glass jars of tomatoes you find in the health store. Minus the cost of processing, which I realize could be significant, each quart cost about $1.90. That does not factor in the jars that will be reused, about 45% of the cost.
  • You understand where your food comes from and the work it took to get there.
  • You obtain some sort of self-sufficiency.
  • You get great tasting canned tomatoes because they are picked and canned at the peak of ripeness.
  • You can either grow your own or support local farmers in the process.

I have also been dehydrating cherry tomatoes and have accumulated a gallon of crunchy, sweet dried tomatoes. I hope to share my new love for food dehydration with y’all sometime soon.

What about you… have you tried canning tomatoes? What methods have you used?


 

19 Responses to Avoid BPA: Can Your Own Tomatoes

  1. I don’t can but I do freeze. I pop tomatoes whole in the freezer and then once frozen put them in plastic bags. I am able to buy Maine (greenhouse) grown tomatoes all year. Good thing too because this year’s harvest was rather pitiful.

    Although I have to say your canned tomatoes look like a work of art! I love the look of canned goods.

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  2. I’m thankful to have a freezer full of organic open pollinated heirloom tomatoes. (I’m set up to try canning, haven’t braved it yet.)
    A copy of Nourishing Traditions is on its way to our home. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes.
    Almonds are in the oven dehydrating as per your directions from yesterday.
    Your blog is a breath of fresh air I’ve been enjoying for a while.

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  3. Jenny says:

    We have frozen tomatoes in the past. Hoping I find the time this year!

    When I do have to buy at the store (like spaghetti sauce) we end up paying an arm and a leg. First because I try to only buy the glass jars and second because we buy without HFCS. So, it really does make sense for us to do it at home – we save on both issues!

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  4. Chiot's Run says:

    I can tomatoes and tomato soup. I also dehydrate small tomatoes. I do it because they taste better and I save money by growing my own tomatoes and canning them myself.

    [Reply]

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  6. Motherhen68 says:

    My goal next year is to plant about 15 ox heart tomatoes, which are supposed to be great for sauces plus slicing tomatoes, plus cherry or grape for drying. I am planning to get enough to can our year’s supply. This is the plan, so whether or not it works out, we’ll see.

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  7. Naomi says:

    I, too, freeze my tomatoes. I core/peel them, cut into smaller chunks, then freeze in plastic ziplock bags, doubled. I happen to have a large upright freezer and this year was our first successful experience with a small tomato garden. I didn’t get enough to last all winter but these will help out! Yes, your quarts look beautiful. There’s not much so satisfying as to look at shelves of gorgeous home-preserved produce.

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  8. jamie says:

    I have been canning garden produce and making jam for nearly 22 years. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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    allison balser Reply:

    I was wondering if you had some recipes to share in how to can tomatoes and others, including jams. I really want to try this out but have never done so. Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Allison Balser

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    Shannon Reply:

    allison – good question! There is going to be a series on canning in July over at simplebites.net – my other gig. Be sure to check it out.

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  9. Chandelle says:

    I canned a lot of tomatoes last year, but I’ve realized that I don’t much like the flavor of regular canned tomatoes. I usually buy roasted tomatoes, and last year I tried to make my own with excellent success. But I was afraid to can them! I thought they might fall apart altogether. I froze them in plastic Baggies last year, and enjoyed them all winter long! This year I’ve been packing them in canning jars (to avoid plastic) and freezing them that way. They give off enough liquid during roasting that I didn’t have to add much for freezing. I like to can dried beans but I generally don’t like the flavor (or nutrition) of canned vs. frozen. But your jars are lovely!

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  10. bob says:

    Unfortunately, ALL canning lids contain BPA (you know – the white part). Canning is NOT a solution to avoiding BPA in your food. I was pretty devastated finding this out after canning 40 quarts of tomatoes.
    Freezing and dehydrating are realistic alternatives. Canning is not.

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    Melisa Reply:

    @bob,

    You can give Tattler reusable lids a try. They are bpa free and said to last for 20 years. They work with standard jars and rings. I haven’t had great luck with the seals on mine but all my friends who use them think they are great. http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/

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  11. Elley says:

    Unfortunately, the lids used for home canning are also lined with BPA. The only way to avoid it completely is to buy Weck canning jars.

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  12. I canned tomatoes too this year! I plan on making some more this week and freezing some as well. Thanks for sharing the quotes from the different companies, very interesting.

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  13. Meggan says:

    What recipe do you use??

    Thanks!

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  14. mom2fur says:

    As a matter of fact, I tried it for the first time this week. My mother has been canning for years. Alas, she lives 600 miles away. But I did copy down her instructions. I have to call her tonight with some questions–not the least of which is how much to put in the jars. My plum tomatoes ‘shrunk’ during processing so the jars only look 3/4 full!

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  15. Beth says:

    I love your idea, but I believe there is BPA in the lids of canning jars made in recent years, as well as cans. Something worth looking into…

    [Reply]

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