Last spring I ran across an article from Prevention magazine titled Seven Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips. And what do you think was #1 on the list? Deep-fried snickers bars? Pork rinds? Double-bacon cheeseburgers? Nope.

It was canned tomatoes.

Apparently the resin lining in canned tomatoes, even virtuous-looking organic ones, contains bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that’s linked with reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Ick! I use lots of canned tomatoes, so this gave me pause.

I tried substituting tetra-pak brands like Pom, but thought they tasted funny and the texture was weird. So in a fit of springtime garden-planning ambition, I decided to plant a whole bunch of tomatoes and put them up myself.

Celebrity was the variety that many mid-western country ladies on the web recommended for canning. It’s not a paste tomato like you’d use for sauce, but it’s easy to grow and determinate, which is important if you want all the fruit to ripen at more or less at the same time. I put in a dozen plants, in addition to my regular eating tomatoes.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great tomato-growing year in my garden. It wasn’t as bad as 2009, when everything succumbed to early blight, but still. The heirloom varieties were afflicted with nasty blossom-end rot, and all the rest were mysteriously slow to ripen. 

Eventually though, just a few weeks ago, they began to turn orange. And for the past few weeks, whenever the collection on the kitchen counter reached a critical mass, I’d blanche and skin them and toss them into freezer bags. These droopy bags aren’t as pretty as glass jars, but boy are they easier to do!

In the end, though, I don’t have nearly tomatoes to get through the year. Which leaves me with my original dilemma. Does anyone have a solution to the killer-can problem? And how about the other foods we should absolutely NEVER EAT? I confess I still eat numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. See the list here.

Or see a more whimsical take on the problem here.