Nanites with Your Pizza Sauce?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 15, 2010

I’ve recently stopped buying any and all brands of canned organic tomato products.   This is because I recently found out that all acidic foods, even organic, are packed in cans lined with BPA a very dangerous hormone disrupting chemical that is linked to a whole host of ailments.

I have to say that I was truly shocked and disappointed upon discovering that even Eden Organics, the company that pioneered BPA free canning, still uses BPA cans for acidic foods like tomatoes.  I realize this situation is not the company’s fault – Eden really wants a BPA free can for acidic foods.    The FDA has just not approved one yet.

Don’t you just love bureaucratic bottleneck where a major public health issue is concerned?

Organic strained tomatoes in glass jarsIt’s amazing to me how even if you are all over this stuff like I try to be that a very important snippet of information like BPA cans still being used for all organic acidic foods can somehow slip through the cracks!

In the meantime,  I’ve drawn a line in the sand about canned goods. I’m done.  Glass only for me, baby.

I cleaned out my pantry of the very few canned goods I had left in there last week and returned the organic canned tomato products from Eden Organics and Muir Glen (Muir Glen is owned by Campbell Soup, by the way.  Ugh!)

My “glass only” resolve came primarily from a comment on my BPA Update blog back in August from Stanley Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat.  In that comment, Stanley writes about the danger of nanites, something I had never even heard about before.  In that comment, Stanley writes:

“Nanites are tiny particles of various substances, such as silver iodide, nickel,etc, that are used to preserve food and increase shelf life. These tiny particles preserve food by killing bacteria, good and bad. Nobody knows what they will do to a human body. There is concern that these tiny particles could penetrate the cells of human organs and damage them, not to mention killing off beneficial bacteria in our bodies.

There is no labeling requirement for nanites. The government is allowing us to be guinea pigs once again. Nanites are already widely used in food packaging.”

Stanley goes on to say that he will not even buy products packaged in tubes or cartons for the same reason.  He’s a “glass only” person.

I love it when I learn something very important like this from reader feedback!  Stanley, I want to be a glass only person too!

I quickly realized in my zeal to go glass only that I was missing one key piece of information – how to make a decent homemade pizza sauce!

So, before returning my last can of Eden Organics pizza sauce, I wrote down all the ingredients on a piece of paper and started experimenting to come up with something that tasted great.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.   I’m sure I will be tweaking this in the coming weeks, but this basic recipe turned out quite delicious.   All the kids gave it a thumbs up, which is an encouraging sign.   The only thing I didn’t like is that the sauce turned out a bit too thin.    Maybe next time, I will try half strained tomatoes and half tomato paste (both packed in glass from Bionaturae).  That change will probably thicken it up quite a bit.

Sarah’s Homemade Pizza Sauce

1 – 24 oz bottle of organic strained tomatoes (sources)
1 TBL organic extra virgin olive oil (sources)
1/2 tsp sea salt (sources) 
1/2 tsp organic basil (sources) 
1/2 tsp organic oregano (sources) 
1/2 tsp organic black pepper (sources) 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp organic dried onion (sources) 
1/2 tsp organic thyme (sources) 
1/4 cup dulse flakes (sources) 
pinch cayenne pepper (sources) 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (32)

  1. My mother from Italy used to make Tomatoe sauce with 3 small cans of tomato paste, seasoning and a lot of water. Then she cooked it over a low heat for hours until it was refuced to the right thickness. This was years before Bionatura but it was delicious and very slight on ingredients. It will reduce and give you a nicely textured sauce.

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  2. Back in the old days when they didnt have tinned or bottled tomato sauce, they roasted the tomatoes and pureed it through a sieve. I am going to make my own sauce.

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  3. I just took a look at the Eden Foods site as I had read they use BPA-free cans. It turns out they do for their bean products and they now use amber class for their tomato and pizza sauce products. The amber glass is supposed to protect the tomatoes from photo oxidation. I’m not sure when they phased in the glass so perhaps your store is trying to get rid of old stock.

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  4. Actually, some of the cheaper, non OG brands of tomatoes don’t have the white BPA lining. I discovered that unintentionally at a Dollar General store. The lesser of 2 evils, I suppose.

    The recipe looks great, BTW! The Eden Pizza sauce used to be my favorite before I learned about BPA.

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  5. Good Morning! Boy do I ever love your website!! I’ve been on it for what feels like nonstop since I found it. I’ve been making so many things from here ~ just love it. I have a question; what are dulse flakes? I’ve never heard of them before. Thanks! sheila

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  6. Sarah,

    The brand “Lucini” also offers organic plum tomatoes in a jar. I buy mine through their website at lucini.com. They sometimes offer free shipping so I stock up on a couple of cases.

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  7. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 17, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Hi Anonymous, General Mills also get an "ugh". Muir Glen is not moving away from BPA fast enough. They waited for consumer pressure to force their hand rather than doing the right thing from the get go .. typical of a company owned by a corporate conglomerate … not exactly on the up and up. I have stopped buying all their products.

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  8. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Celeste, wow – using the broth would add a lot of nutrition and flavor to the sauce. Will have to try this next time. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for the post! One thing I've been doing lately in making homemade pizza/spaghetti sauce is using beef broth. I mix tomato paste (love that you can get it in jars) with my homemade beef broth, to the thickness I like. Combined with other ingedients – sauteed vegetables, ground meats, perhaps some pureed liver, and seasonings – it's a great, nutrient-dense sauce! My family doesn't miss the canned tomatoes.

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  10. Beth, Thanks for the Tattler site, just placed an order. I love being able to reuse/re-purpose items. I have been using the plastic storage caps that Ball has had on the market for several years for storing/saving food. I have read somewhere else that you can reuse the regular canning lids, haven't tried yet but wonder if the BPA will have been leached out from the first use. Just wondering out loud(in print =}).

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  11. how did you take all your canned tomatoes back to the store? did you have a receipt? that never even occured to me…but i might have to try it. i have a dozen or so muir glen cans left in mypantry.

    i switched to buying my grocery store (Hyvee) brand organic tomato sauce or marinera sauce…and i use that for pizza sauce. its YUM and a good price. and it only comes in glass jars. i actually use it in any recipe that calles for canned tomatoes or sauce or anything..the extra flavor just adds to the recipe.

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    • Whole Foods will usually take any non-perishable food back without a receipt, and they will generally refund you for any produce that was spoiled (or that didn’t last long), meat that wasn’t at its peak (I’ve had to buy grassfed meat at WF on occasion in a pinch and once it wasn’t good-at all) and any products that you didn’t care for. I don’t think most people exploit this, so they are able to offer excellent customer service (as they should for the cost of things there!) It is nice to know that if I buy a natural care product I don’t like, I can bring it back, and not waste $15.

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  12. Sarah, you are right, I am totally glass only in this area. There is just no way to know what they have put into other packaging, (especially since there is no labeling requirement for nanites) unless you contact the company and feel that you can trust what they tell you.

    Very nice looking recipe I will try it, maybe with 1/4 tomato paste.

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  13. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Kate, I feel the same way. It is infuriating that these food manufacturers feel like they can toy with people's health by using dangerous chemicals in the packaging process.

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  14. So, by cartons do you mean Tetra Pak containers?

    Even the so called 'BPA Free' cans can still by law have trace amounts of BPA. It just has to be lower than a certain amount.

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  15. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama September 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Ah, this just makes me angry. Stupid moronic food industry that puts crap in our food.

    Of course, it also makes me happy that I feed family well and we don't buy any of this crap. We just had homemade chicken nuggets (breaded in sprouted flour and fried in palm oil) — that THAT, food industry! lol.

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    • We buy Pomi too! I also sometimes use a store-bought spaghetti sauce (organic, with only tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt, and other herbs- NO sugar, HFCS, additives or preservatives, etc) or a fresh salsa- same high quality ingredients, with no additives at all. The jarred spaghetti sauce comes in very handy for a quick soup or chili (not really spaghetti since we don’t do noodles) and the salsa is great for mixing with beans, making a quick paella or mixing with shredded roasted pastured chicken for taco wraps, etc. It’s saved me a few nights and while I do prefer to make everything from scratch- this is a “better than” situation for us.
      Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health\’s last post: Genetically Engineered Food Alters Our Digestive System- an Action Alert from the ANH

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  16. Beth here from Minneapolis. I’m the one who posted about BPA-free canning jar lids, which I’ll copy here for reference. First, though, I have an idea for your quest for safe, delicious pizza sauce. I’ve been drying homegrown tomatoes in our dehydrator, and the flavor is out of this world! Imagine a sweet punch of sweet concentrated flavor, with enzymes in tact (unlike canning). Tasting one of these “tomato chips” is like a spoonful of extra sweet, extra delicious tomato paste. I bet they could easily be rehydrated and made into pizza sauce, or added in place of tomato paste to your strained tomatoes. Anyway, it’s worth a try, and dehydrating is a great way to turn the summer’s bounty into something that will last all winter! No cans, no nanites, no glass — I’m using those wax paper bags or folded parchment paper within a zip-lock bag for storage.

    Here’s the post about the lids:
    Ball and Kerr canning jar lids are lined with BPA. I wrote to them to ask if and when they will make them without BPA and got no reply. Here's their website for others who may wish to voice concern:
    http://www.freshpreserving.com
    [[Sounds like we need to write to the FDA as well]]

    A call to Leifheit yesterday revealed that their canning lids also contain BPA in "trace" amounts. They're working on a BPA-free lid in the future. I think they fit wide mouth mason jars.

    There IS a lid maker called TATTLER that has BPA-free lids that fit standard mason jars (regular and wide mouth), and, get this, they're re-usable with a lifetime guarantee. I don't know what they're made out of and would be interested to know if they are PVC-free dioxin-free, another serious concern. [[NOTE: Stanley checked and they are PVC- & dioxin-free - HOORAY]]
    Here's their website:
    http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/
    Tattler sells them online in bulk (starting at 3 dozen for $21-$24), and they may also be purchased from a couple of retailers listed on their site.

    Opinions differ on the extent to which BPA leaches into food if the food doesn't touch the lid. For me, I'd rather take out the guesswork and forgo it completely.

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  17. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist September 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Farmgirl Cyn, yes home canning is great but you have to be careful about that as the home canning lids have BPA too, from what I understand. Someone posted about a source for BPA free home canning lids on that August 31, 2010 BPA Update blog I wrote that is linked in above if you want to check it out.

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  18. Sarah…What about home canning?
    I have just canned some tomato sauce/puree from the organic Roma tomatoes from our CSA. I plan on doing some marinara sace also. Home canning has GOT to be cheaper than anything I can buy from the health food store.
    And yesterday I dried 4 trays of the Roma's for packing in herbed olive oil.
    I also just wash some and throw them in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer, but I am pretty much out of room in there.
    I think I would just buy tomato paste (do they sell it in a jar?) as it takes a mess of tomatoes to get a decent amount of paste!

    Reply

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