It's officially chili season, people. And another year has gone by wherein there are no better BPA-free canned tomato products on the market. I've been ramping up my gardening, but I'm nowhere near canning all of our own tomatoes yet.
So what's a chili-loving girl to do?
There are some companies, notably Eden Organics, who can beans and other vegetables in BPA free cans. When I'm not using dried beans, I always turn to Eden.
But the acidity of tomatoes means that even Eden can't make a BPA free canned tomato product. Scanning high and low, I've come up with a scant three BPA free products. First there's Pomi, in a tetra-pak. The container is not recyclable or compostable, but it is BPA free. In glass jars, I've found BioNaturae and a brand called Cirio.
BioNaturae is found in many East Coast shops, and their pasta is--hands down--my favorite organic brand. The tomatoes are the priciest choice and only come in a very well pureed texture. Pomi's "chopped" product is a more traditional chili texture.
The Cirio brand has a texture in between the other two. Problem: these are not sold in my town. It is an Italian import which I found at Fairway in New York City, a store full of quirky European brands that aren't widely available.
Why aren't there more glass containers? A BPA discussion over at Groovy Green Livin' brought up this question, with a less than satisfying answer from a representative of Annie's products--that glass is heavy and difficult to transport.
True. But it's also oh so recyclable. I argue that it's more efficient to can tomatoes in 24 ounce jars than it ever will be to put baby food in 3 ounce jars. And I don't hear any companies suggesting that baby food should soon appear in BPA lined cans.
Dear Muir Glen (owned by giant General Mills) I'm talking to you! Your pasta sauces reach my store in glass jars. Please, please consider putting those tomato products in glass, too.