Almost a third (31%) of the worldwide tomato supply comes from Xinjiang, although the Chinese call it “foreign eggplant” and don’t prefer it. As of 2017, China ranked first in worldwide tomato production, shipping to dozens of countries, including the UK, Australia, Germany, Russia and us in N. America.
If we purchase our tomato products, it is likely we are eating GMO Chinese tomatoes!
China’s tomato products are used by brand names including food giants Heinz, McCormick and Nestle, where their products hit the store shelves, often (but not always) with labels that make you believe they are domestic (U.S.) or from Italy.
Ketchup & Pasta Sauce Brands
Tomatoes (incl. undisclosed ingredients discussed below) in these ketchup brands may come from Xinjiang, China. The fact that they are featured on the top image (from the Tianz site) tells me all I need to know:
- Heinz ketchup
- Muir Glen chunky tomato sauce (Muir Glen ketchup image has since been removed)
- 365 Whole Foods ketchup (the image has now been removed)
- Hunt’s ketchup
- Organicville Organic (the image has now been removed from the Tainz site)
- Sir Kensington ketchup
- Del Monte (look closely at the second image in the link)
Also whole, diced, or paste in cans such as these:
- S&W Premium
- Red Gold
- Contadina (the image has now been removed)
- Trader Joe’s Diced Tomatoes
- Hunt’s Sauce
These pasta and spagetti sauces also originate from China (with the ‘secret’ additives discussed below):
(UPDATE 5/28): So, now I CANNOT substantiate this short section below on the jarred marinara sauces, but I am going to leave this here so you can do you your own research. (My screenshot ↓ is now gone from the Tianz site. I just scoured the website, and it is gone. I guarantee it was there when I was researching all of this.)
Any food company can order Chinese grown tomato products and affix their own label. It is a process called Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Check for yourself. Sadly, links to these specific products have been removed, (but I saw them with my own eyes):
- Rao’s Marinara
- Mario Batelli’s Marinara
- Newman’s Own Marinara and Bombolino
- Wolfgang Puck
The documentary The Empire of Red Gold explains China’s role in the global tomato industry in detail.
The tomatoes are genetically-modified to be extremely durable, which ensures they fall to the ground and do not bruise. If you throw one of these tomatoes to the ground, it does not burst but instead bounces. This benefits the low-income workers who are often women with babies strapped to their backs, or have their small children walking in the fields helping with the work. If the tomatoes are accidentally stepped on by a small child, it does not harm the tomatoes.
The Empire of Red Gold shows how suppliers of tomato manufacturing equipment in Parma, Italy began the relationship years ago. The Italians taught the Chinese how to run the equipment and produce the tomato product. Silvestro Pieracci, former trader at Gandolfi Group says the deal was, “I give you the machines for production, you carry out your own production, and when you have finished, you give me the products to sell and recover the money for the machines that I have given you.”
What’s that White Substance They Add?
It is becoming more and more common for food to contain additives that are not listed on the ingredient list. When manufacturers use “industry standard” ingredient in their products, they do not have to list it on the ingredient list. This happens with tomatoes coming here from China.
At timestamp 39:00-40:45 in the documentary above, Ma Zhenyong, director of one of the biggest Chinese exporters was giving the producer of the film a tour of the facility when the producer saw a white substance going into the tomato sauce in large quantities. When asked by a translator to identify the substance, he said, “I cannot answer that. This is our recipe. I cannot talk about it. These additives are legitimate. We filed our recipe at the Chinese Goods Inspection and Examination Office. We only add what is filed there.”
The white powder is soybean, starch, and maltose (malt sugar) powder, used as a thickener, and possibly other ingredients.
Zhenyong said privately to the translator, “With regards to our production, 80% of the product is the raw material, tomato. In the remaining 20%, there is soybean, starch, maltose. The best thing is not to talk about the substances that are added.”
The producer says, “According to my information, some barrels of Chinese tomato concentrate contain up to 55% additives. It’s a method of lowering manufacturing costs since the additives are cheaper than tomatoes. The reason they can cut their products with soy is because of an agreement with their distributors. The entire production and distribution chain is complicit in this fraud. Only the consumer is fooled.”
For those of us with food sensitivities (corn or another unknown allergen), or those who care about the food they eat, these “Industry Standards” poses a real problem because there is no way of knowing what is in the food. Undisclosed ingredients likely are to blame for causing health issues in countless people.
I will keep updating the brands that say they use Canadian or CA-grown tomatoes:
- Annie’s Organic – California (and their 3 amazing BBQ sauces)
- French’s – Canadian
- Trader Joe’s organic – California
- Primal Kitchen – California
Do you know of others? Please share them in comments!
From me to you: Do NOT let the evil one destroy your faith and peace in the Lord! Fretting and worry only make us weak. Jesus is our only hope and always has been. Really, nothing has changed! Now when the rubber meets the road (SHTF), we must, all the more, not faint and continue to run to win the prize!
“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” ~1 Cor. 9:25
Baby formula help for families in trouble: Formula Shortage & 2 Nutritious Homemade Baby Formula Recipes and Highly-Digestible Homemade Mt. Capra Goat Milk Baby Formula