Ever since my grandmother taught me how to make my own tomato sauce fifteen years ago, it has become a staple in my kitchen, filling up my freezer after cooking up bi-monthly vats. And making my own sauce is a great thing – no preservatives or yucky ingredients. But the key ingredient had always been Cento Tomatoes, a conventional brand that is not only not organic, it lines its cans with BPA.
And I’ve tried to find alternatives for my sauce, but for years didn’t have much luck. Fresh tomatoes created a very different kind of sauce and the Pomi tomatoes in the cardboard box didn’t taste right to me. Then I heard that Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes were switching to BPA free cans so I started easing myself in to the slightly different taste, using half Cento and half Muir Glen – half the BPA has to be an improvement, right?
But it gets even more complicated (doesn’t it always?) The chemicals being used to replace BPA are not necessarily safe. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC; yes, the stuff in plastic pipes), for example, is an FDA-approved alternative for can linings, yet vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen. BPS is another lining option—an option plucked from the same family of chemicals as BPA—but is relatively untested so we don’t know if it’s safe or not. And being pregnant I figured I should really try to make more of an effort to avoid this junk.
Which brings me to my most recent recipe revision. I bought a couple bottles of Bionaturae Tomatoes, organic strained tomatoes that come in a glass jar. I started with a half-and-half batch with the Muir Glen and to my pleasant surprise I couldn’t taste the difference. Maybe my taste buds were adjusting to the healthier, organic, and chemical-free options after all! The sauce was delicious and actually enjoyed by husband and child as well (a huge feat!) The next step will be my first 100% BPA-free batch which I look forward to with great confidence.