BPA-free Tomatoes Do Exist!

Updated 1/31/12 – Check out our newly updated BPA-free Canned Food Shopping Guide

We recently shared our pathetic findings when searching for pre-prepared tomatoes in BPA-free containers.  Several of our amazing readers came to the rescue with possibilities we hadn’t heard of, so we started the process of confirming with the each manufacturer.  We ended up with two positively BPA-free options and still have one more that may be added to the list soon.  You’ll notice that both of the brands listed below are using aseptic carton packaging made by Tetra Pak, which opened up a whole new research project.  We have a slew of new info on that front that we’ll be sharing with you very soon.

Pomi Tomatoes

We spoke with makers of Pomi Tomatoes, Boschi Food & Beverage of Italy, and confirmed that their containers are 100% BPA-free.  They offer a nice line of tomato products including chopped, strained and marinara sauce.  All can be found in the USA at Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. and Amazon.com, although inventory levels seem to fluctuate based on availability.

Trader Joe’s Tomatoes

We confirmed with Trader Joe’s that all of their tomato products (including soups) packaged in cartons are made by Tetra Pak and are BPA-free.

We’re working on one other brand of tomatoes in glass jars without the typical BPA-based epoxy.  We’re unfamiliar with the epoxy used, so we’re pursuing help from an expert to make sure it’s something we feel comfortable recommending.

Have we missed anything?  Speak up and let us know!

Have you tried these products?  Let us know if they’re worthwhile!

UPDATE 1/27/10:   We’ve heard from a few of our readers that Bionaturae’s glass jar lids were reportedly BPA-free. We spoke with the manufacturer and have confirmed that they are in fact BPA-free.  We also learned that they use a PVC-based organosol lacquer which was concerning, so we asked about leaching.  They’ve done thorough testing and have found no leaching of the organosol into the food.

UPDATE 1/20/11:  Eden Foods Finds a Better Solution to BPA-lined Cans for Tomatoes and Sauces

UPDATE 1/31/12: We checked with Muir Glen at the end of December and here’s how they responded:

Thank you for contacting Muir Glen about bisphenol-A or BPA.

As of October 2011, Muir Glen canned tomato products do not utilize BPA in product packaging.

Muir Glen continues to believe BPA is safe based on the weight of evidence of scientific and governmental bodies worldwide, including comprehensive risk assessments in Japan and the European Union along with the European Food Safety Authority’s reaffirmation in December 2011 of its opinion that there is no new evidence to suggest the tolerable daily intake of BPA needs to be lowered. The FDA has also endorsed the safety of current exposure levels.

However, we know that some of our consumers have chosen to avoid BPA, so we had been looking for alternatives. Working with our can suppliers and can manufacturers, Muir Glen was able to develop and test a safe and viable alternative that does not use BPA for our canned tomato products. We began transitioning to those linings with the fall 2010 tomato pack – and we completed that transition with the 2011 tomato pack.

Your views are important to us. Again, thank you for contacting Muir Glen, and thank you for your support of our products.

Check Out Our Updated BPA-free Canned Food Shopping Guide

BPA-free Canned Food Collage

Photo sources:  Flickr via arnold/inuyaki and Amazon.com

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Alicia Voorhies is a Registered Nurse who decided to take a break to relax and enjoy her young kids after 13 years of working with disabled adults. She began to explore the world of alternative health ideas and was immediately attracted to the mysteries of endocrine disruptors and their effect on children. In 2007 she founded The Soft Landing along with her mom and sisters to help parents provide a safe, natural home for their children without drowning in an overwhelming sea of information.

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  • Boo

    This is great news! Please let me know if you come across any Organic options as my son is on an all-organic diet. I am so thankful for all you do–You are the best!

    • Kassey

      Hi Boo, Pomi is actually 100% all natural and some consider it organic because it is grown without pesticides, herbicides and without GMOs.

    • Chrisevil

      Your son sounds like a tool! Lol

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Thanks, Boo! We're still in the hunt for safe organic options too, so we'll let you know as soon as we find anything.

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  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Thanks, Boo! We're still in the hunt for safe organic options too, so we'll let you know as soon as we find anything.

  • Emily

    I love to buy things in the Tetra Pak packaging but was wondering if anyone knew for sure if they were recyclable? Can we have good for our bodies AND the environment?
    Thanks

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Tetra Pak cartons are recyclable, but not all areas have the ability to do so yet. You can read more about it and find out if you can recycle them in your area at http://www.tetrapak.com/us/environment/recycle/

  • brendaj71

    Just bought a case of pomi chopped tomatoes at vitacost for approx $33 +5 shipping

    • Emmitt

      This is great news! I order vitamins from Vitacost but never thought about looking for tomatoes there! I’ll check this out.

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Awesome, Brenda! Can't wait to hear how you like them. I'll be ordering mine soon too.

  • tiffanylarson

    I bought the Trader Joe's sauce yesterday, can't wait to try it out! Thank you for letting us know about it!

  • Mindful Momma

    Thanks for digging this up – I'll be looking for those BPA-free tomatoes at Trader Joe's!!

  • Gina

    I'm so glad to hear this news. I've wondered about those packs too. Thank you so much for doing the research and sharing with us!

  • Andrea

    I just saw Muir Glen tomatoes in the store. They tout enamel-lined cans, I'm assuming that means no BPA? And they are “organic”.

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Hi Andrea,

    I did a quick search around the internet and found several references to Muir Glen tomatoes being made with BPA:

    http://www.lavidalocavore.org/diary/2847/muir-g

    http://healthtakenseriously.com/2009/11/13/muir

    So it looks like they aren't a BPA-free option after all.

    Alicia

  • nyc

    What about the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio that pack in glass?

  • crunchyNCgirl

    I was in Trader Joe’s on Friday to buy some tomatoes (they are awesome) & was told by an associate there that they have been discontinued due to lack of demand nationally. Boo!

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      Aaarrrggghhh! I can’t believe we finally located BPA-free tomatoes at Trader Joe’s and now they’re going to discontinue them!

      We may need to start a petition to let them know we still want them . . .

      • crunchyNCgirl

        i wrote them & they said at this time they had no plans to reintroduce them, but they would forward my comments to the head of that department. maybe a petition or campaign to save the tomatoes would work!! i’ve seriously been depressed about it for a week…

  • Tafan

    I also recently found the Pomi brand tomatoes in aseptic packaging at Wegman’s grocery stores, found on the East Coast.

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      Thanks, Tafan and Carusia! So glad to know that Pomi tomatoes are readily available.

  • Tafan

    Just found ‘em at BuyTheCase.net as well. The best price is from Vitacost.

    • Anonymous

      Good afternoon ~ you can also find Pomi tomatoes in your local Shoprite, A&P, Publix, Demoulas, Stop & Shop, on line at Fresh Direct to name a few others.

  • Anonymous

    I just tweeted about it!! Feel free to copy & paste the same tweet.

    @traderjoes Please don’t discontinue your BPA-free tomato products in tetra-paks. We need MORE BPA-free products, not fewer!!

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      Perfect, Micaela! I’m tweeting it right now and I’ll be adding it to my Facebook page too. Thanks for taking the lead here!

  • Anonymous

    I am so excited it was delivered today from Vitacost – can’t wait to get home – I haven’t used chopped tomatoes since the summer when they were fresh! Hmm what to make for dinner?

  • taowyn

    Thank for this info. Amazon has the shipping as much as the product for the Pomi case.

    • Anonymous

      Just bought a 26.46 oz of Pomi tomatoes from Vons. So glad that regular food stores are offering it for a cheap price ($3.79).

  • Lara

    I’ve recently learned that Trader Joe’s has discontinued their boxed tomato starter sauce. No plans to replace it w/a similar item. I am heartbroken.

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      I know – it’s terrible! We’re asking everyone to contact Trader Joe’s to let them know that we don’t want them to discontinue one of the only BPA-free tomatoes options in the world!

      Here’s my Facebook plea on their fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trader-Joes-Fan/15934023652?ref=search&sid=1073738132.1347041804..1#/pages/Trader-Joes-Fan/15934023652?v=feed&story_fbid=296125013652&ref=mf

      Mindful Momma and I had asked everyone to tweet them too, but their Twitter account seems to be gone . . . .

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  • xoox

    the tetra paks may not be any better, and possibly worse:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-gordon/cans-a-source-of-bpa_b_345067.html

    BPA is certainly not the only estrogen disruptor to be found in food packaging. Packaging that uses a polyethylene liner, such as the aseptic Tetra Pak have also been shown to leach endocrine disruptors that may be even more toxic than BPA. How about DMP, DEP, DiBP, DBP, and
    DEHP, some of which are known xenoestrogens.

    The majority of aseptic packaging is produced under the name TetraPak. This packaging uses a polyethylene liner in contact with the contents. Very recent studies of plain mineral water stored in a TetraPak showed significant leaching of toxins from the liner into the food. The analysis of data demonstrated that the estrogenic contamination of mineral water bottled in Tetra Pak is significantly higher compared to that of water bottled in glass. One can only imagine the results if acidic contents such as wine or tomato products were tested. See:

    http://www.defendingwaterinmaine.org/PET_Estrogen.pdf

    Solutions to this problem, as part of a nature-based approach to a healthy lifestyle, can be found in “The Wellness Project.”

    Roy Mankovitz, Director
    http://www.MontecitoWellness.com

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  • Alisha
  • justsaynothankyou

    Trader Joes has discontinued their tetrapak tomatoes due to poor sales. :(

  • Denise

    Darn- I just bought Bionaturae at Whole Foods and considered the Pomi but there was no info on the packaging to lead me to believe it was safe. Now that I have read this I am interested! Thanks so much for the info! I went to their website but still couldn’t figure it out. I wish these guys would post more info online.

  • Amanda

    I’m sure I read something recently about the polyethylene liner in Tetra Paks being problematic, too.

    Yes, I did—it ;inked here: http://www.defendingwaterinmaine.org/PET_Estrogen.pdf

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      Hi Amanda – I haven’t read any documented research on Tetra Pak leaching myself yet and I can’t seem to get the website you mentioned to load. Any other links that you know of?

  • Danika Carter

    They are theoretically recyclable, but it's very hard to find places that will actually take them.

    Personally, until there's a better option, I'd rather have BPA free than recyclable, if I can't have both. Now, if only we could find organics….I've been looking for months.

  • Amanda

    I found the pomi tomatoes in QFC (Seattle Kroger grocery store) awhile back.

  • Shira

    Trader Joe's Italian Tomato Starter sauce has unforunately been discontinued, at least in Virginia.

  • rmjacks

    I have been buying the Pomi products at Whole Foods for a couple of years now. I actually preferred the taste of the Pomi tomatoes to canned tomatoes before I was even aware of the BPA issue with canned goods! It would be wonderful if we could find more vegetables in Tetra Paks–in particular black beans. I hate to buy them canned now that I know about the BPA, but it takes so long to soak and cook the dried ones. Any other options? Thanks!

  • matt

    http://www.lucini.com/products.php?ss=30&pc=8 – Lucini has organic tomatoes in glass.

  • matt

    http://www.lucini.com/products.php?ss=30&pc=8 – organic tomatoes in glass.

  • Steph

    We use these lucini tomatoes. Expensive, but great. And we also use the Bionaturae in glass. I hadn't considered the lid linings, but I tend not to be as concerned about lids since the jars aren't stored on their sides or filled all the way up to the tippy-top anyway – I personally would rather eat food packaged in glass, even with the possible tiniest bit touching the lid, than in tetrapaks, which just seem a little too new-fangled to me (I'd never seen the articles posted above re tetrapak linings, but I'm not that surprised).

  • AJ

    I found these at my local World Market (Cost Plus). The large Pomi box was roughly $4. Hope that helps!

  • heli

    I have written to Muir Glenn to request that they put their crushed tomatos and whole tomato products in glass jars. They do not have BPA free cans. (Eden is not BPA free canned tomatoes, only bean products.) I realize this will probably be more expensive. It is still a mystery to me as to why I see on the store shelves all kinds of varieties of brands of tomato sauces in every combo imaginable in glass jars…but not just plain ol' tomatoes without the extra added ingredients in the same type of glass jar!

  • LibertyG

    I am delighted to find this information on two counts:

    1. I am the Director of a non-profit organization called the Toxics Information Project (TIP), based in Providence, RI. Check out our website's Households & Food section at: http://www.toxicsinfo.org/TIPS_house.htm (which is constantly in the process of updating/adding more info) I just prepared a booklet on food concerns for a discussion I led last night for the first time at the Riverside library, called, “Food Facts & Fantasy”. I wish I'd seen this site before, but will now be able to use the info in future talks and publications.

    2. Personally, I am a huge fan of the soups that come in aseptic cartons – mostly from Imagine Foods (organic) – Portabello Mushroom, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Cuban Black Bean, Sweet Pea, Corn & Lemongrass… I use these in two ways – as soup, for quickie sauces – and as a quick veggie on the run (those with good vegetable nutrition). The best for that purpose is Pacific Foods Ginger Cashew Carrot – 200 % of Vit. A mda and very tasty. I drink it cold, hot, take it along to events (in a glass jar) as part of my lunch.

    So, I'm delighted to hear that Tetra Pak cartons are BPA-Free!

  • LibertyG

    Not for plain black beans, but as mentioned in my recent post, Imagine Foods Cuban Black Bean soup is great – and it is actually quite thick – I often add liquid to it, such as the veggie water I save when cooking vegetables.

  • JPJ

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~conten

    This is a website that says there is hydrochloric acid in PVC based organosol laquer. This is supposedly the chemical they use in the lids of the Bionaturae’s lid. Another website said there was chlorine in it…I guess pesticides may be better …scary!

  • JPJ

    BTW-Here is the reply when I asked bionaturae about the PVC

    The lids of our jars do not contain BPA but they do contain a small
    percentage of PVC in the round seal that you see on the inner surface of
    the lid. This is used to secure the closure of the lid and at this time,
    we have been unable to use a PVC-free compound, although we continue to
    search for an alternative. We have found that all packaging materials
    have a negative aspect, but we make our best efforts to determine which
    is the less harmful.
    In our unique manufacturing process, the tomatoes are pasteurized before
    they are filled in the jar and without the lid. That means that when the
    lid is adhered, the temperature has already cooled. It may be possible
    for PVC to migrate into food by direct contact and at certain
    temperatures, but we are far below these temperatures and there is no
    contact of the tomatoes with the lid during our production cycle. We
    have never found any level of PVC in the finished product. You must also
    consider that the percentage of surface area of the lid compared to the
    glass is very small and we therefore feel glass bottles are the purest
    packaging. Other packaging options for tomatoes, mainly tin cans and
    Tetrapak, are entirely lined with plastics that have direct contact with
    a much higher percentage of the food.
    Thank you for your interest in this very important issue.

    Thank you for your interest in our products.
    All the best,
    bionaturae Customer Service Relations
    info@bionaturae.com

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Thanks for sharing the info you gathered JPJ! We're currently preparing an interview with did with Bionaturae that we'll be posting this week. We were pleasantly surprised by the company's open and honest response and we're looking forward to sharing it with everyone.

  • savorra

    I found Pomi tomatoes at my Whole Foods tonight. Apparently they just started carrying them a couple weeks ago. Very exciting!

  • the cleaner

    i'm married to an italian man and have always used cento canned tomatoes for sauces. since the news broke about the bpa in cans i've tried the pomi and they are flavor-less and have a very watery consistency. :(

    i've also tried a bottled organic tomatoes (can't recall the brand) and was not good either. i have yet to find something comparable to cento. wish they came in bottles. :(

  • shuzam

    Just bought Pomi at a regular food store (Vons). Cheap ($3.75/26.46 oz) and so convenient to use. Great product!

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  • Adrienne

    I love the taste of Pomi…one of my favorite tomato products…but I sure wish they'd go organic!!!!

    Eden Foods claim to use a lining that has an “undetectable” level of BPA.

  • http://artofnaturalliving.com I Wilkerson

    This is a great find–especially since we have a nearby Trader Joes. I thought I'd end up canning my own tomatoes to deal with this, but then learned that the standard lids (that I have all the jars for) are also BPA lined. Sigh.

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  • Melodie

    That's great on one hand, but on the other, neither appear to be organic and at least the tins are recyclable whereas most places won't take and recycle tetra packs. Still a ways to go. :( But thanks for the info nonetheless.

  • http://kidscooking.about.com Stephanie

    Thanks for researching this for us!

  • http://kidscooking.about.com Stephanie

    Thanks for researching this for us!

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  • Smallbeekeeper

    I'm afraid I've read that the lining inside tetrapaks isn't good for you either. I stopped drinking from boxes as well as cans. I use glass ball jars to store food in the fridge and as my coffee to go cup. I thought I was doing great for the environment using absolutely no plastic or even paper cups but now found out there's BPA in all canning lids!

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  • Steph

    Smallbeekeeper, do you have links to any articles? Although I instinctively feel that tetrapaks are a bit newfangled, I haven't found anything SPECIFIC that talks about why. The links someone else posted don't go anywhere. Thanks.

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  • emma

    The Trader Giotto's sauce was delicious, but I have not been able to find it for more than a year now. I fear they have been discontinued, in inimitable Trader Joe's style.

  • amy

    Are all items packaged in a tetra pak box bpa free?

  • Nicole

    where do things stand at this point? any updates for us?

  • steph

    so, which is the lesser evil?? non organic or BPA?

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  • J-starr

    While the cartons are BPA free & a healthy alternative for people, they’re not healthy for the environment. Like juice cartons, they will sit in landfills for years.

  • Sage

    Tetra Pak uses polyethylene in their packaging.

  • littleredp

    I am sooooo excited, for those of you in the south I just found POMI at PUBLIX!!!!!!!

    Now I can buy it easily, such great news

  • vc

    trader joe’s doesn’t have that starter sauce anymore… and muir glen organic tomatoes are canned in enamel linings

  • Beccawheeler

    Here’s another option, I like the Lucini brand a lot.
    http://www.lucini.com/products.php?ss=30&pc=8&p=25

  • http://learnwithp.blogspot.com/ Zaira

    interested in the follow up on the PVC-based organosol lacquer in the jar lids…

  • Rebecca Friedman

    The Pomi Tomatoes are great, and European standards on pesticide are much higher than ours, so I would be comfortable using these in lieu of organic.

    Trader Joe’s makes an EXCELLENT Organic Roast Pepper & Tomato Soup in a tetra pak. I am not familiar with their other tomato products, but in general their product quality is very high.

  • beanjean

    POMI chopped tomatoes are great – they are a little saucier than some chopped tomatoes, but good quality. My local TJ’s doesn’t carry these, but I’ll keep looking.

  • Lindaellen03

    Please just put tomato products in glass jars – then you don’t have the problems of the metals leaching into the acidic tomato product. I don’t think a liner would be enough keep metal from leaching out into the tomatoes. You put spagetti sauce in glass jars why not do the same with tomatoes. You are going to find a lot of people who are willing to make their own tomatoes from fresh produce to avoid any unhealthy packaging. There is no reason to have an organic product in unhealthy metal cans.

  • Bbl

    Eden Foods has an entire line of tomatoes packaged in Amber Glass. They are organic.

    http://www.edenfoods.com/store/index.php?cPath=23_41

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      Thanks for posting Bbl! We actually highlighted Eden’s new line in January and just hadn’t updated this blog post to reflect. Thanks for reminding us! We’ve added the link in the article above.

      UPDATE 1/20/11: Eden Foods Finds a Better Solution to BPA-lined Cans for Tomatoes and Sauces

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  • http://www.organicbabyuniversity.com Jennifer

    Does anyone know what actually touches the food in a tetrapack? From what I understand it is something called mPE. I am not sure what this is? Also they use aluminum in the packaging. Is it possible that the aluminum can touch and leach into the food?

    I do know as far as recycling it is not such a great option since they have to try to separate the metal from the paper and plastic

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  • Estacey2004

    I read that recycling paper products actually uses BPA!  There seems to be BPA in paper plates, paper towels, etc.  We are destroying ourselves and our environment.

  • Meg

    Muir Glen has switched to BPA-free cans as of late last summer. :)

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  • Jen Monton

    I just confirmed with Trader Joe’s that two of their canned tomatoes are in fact BPA free.  They confirmed with their corporate office while I was there.  The tomato paste and tomato sauces in cans contain BPA, however the 28 ounce “Trader Joe’s Organic Tomatoes – Diced in Tomato Juice” ($1.99)and the low sodium version by the same name (but with a smaller can for $1.49) is confirmed BPA free!  Such great news since no store in the St Louis area carries the tetrapak version of the tomato products (and the Eden Foods version was $5 a jar at my local store making a pot of chili EXTREMELY expensive considering I would need $20 worth of tomato products.

  • channonm

    Italian products have tested VERY high in dioxins. Choose your poison. Literally.

  • Ilovetomatoes

    Hi Alicia! I’d like to report that canned tomatoes from California are 95% non-Epoxy… Organic Canned Tomatoes from California are 100% non-Epoxy!

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  • Mama2desi

    Muir Glenn just announced toward the end of 2011 that they changed their cans to BPA free, even though they will not be marketing that fact (I think they would get more business if it stated that though!)

  • Anon

    When considering tomato products in glass jars you need to also consider the coating that is on the underside of the lid.  Also, the metal mason jar lids used in home canning are coated with BPA when they would contact food.  Some folks feel this is not an issue because jars are stored standing upright such that the contents does not stand in contact with the inside of the lid.

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