Midwest canned tomatoes

pizzasauce15ozAfter reading this and this about how 95% of all canned tomato products come from California, I did a little digging.

My absolute favorite pizza sauce in the world is Dei Fratelli brand. It’s a very fresh-tasting sauce, not heavy-handed with the oregano, and it has no HFCS. I’ve noticed before that the distributor (Hirzel) is located in Toledo, Ohio, but I’d never been sure where they got their tomatoes. I went looking today, and the news is very, very good for midwesterners!

Key facts (from http://www.deifratelli.com/mediakit.html):

  • All their tomatoes are grown in NW Ohio, NE Indiana, and Southern Michigan. Hirzel has its own large farming operation, and they also buy from about 30 family farms in the area.
  • All tomatoes are certified non-GMO. Hirzel supplies the plants to most of their farmers.
  • Many of the farmers use organic farming practices, even though the percentage of organic tomatoes in the finished product isn’t high enough to label the tomatoes “organic.”
  • You can buy online, or at Meijer (at least the pizza sauce).
  • Most items are about $1 per 15oz can – about half the price of organics shipped in from California.

I’m really excited about this! Dei Fratelli tomato products hit a really good mix of local, sustainably-produced, delicious, and affordable.

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8 Comments

  1. MK said,

    December 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Also Red Gold tomatoes are made and grown in the midwest:

    http://www.redgold.com/red_gold_company/contact_faqs.asp

  2. Robyn M. said,

    December 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Ooo, this is good news! There’s a little hole-in-the-wall market that sells Dei Fratelli stuff, but I’ve always been afraid of it for, well, many reasons. Yay! I can buy it!

  3. December 9, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I had wondered about that myself, Emily, since I can get the Dei Fratelli products here. Thanks for checking! Though I may not actually run out of home-canned tomatoes for the first time ever this year… ;-)

  4. brandon said,

    December 9, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    That is good info to know! Thanks I’ve always bought their products and will continue to do so.

  5. TeacherPatti said,

    December 9, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you so much for doing the research on this! And it’s good to know about Red Gold, too!

  6. Ryan said,

    December 10, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the info. I first bought the pizza sauce because it was inexpensive, then I found out how good it is. Even better to know the tomatoes are relatively local, and you’re supporting a family-run company. This is great pizza sauce.

  7. Buttercup said,

    December 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Yes, I love their products too. Their canned tomato sauce is flavorful in its own right and I use it as a base in many sauces I make. I went to their website and found that you can email real people if you have questions. I got the product safety officer and asked him if that white lining contained BPA (bisphenol A, used in most canned goods linings and thought to contribute directly to health problems). Unfortunately, the answer is yes. (As it will be for most canned products in the US.) But I’ll still keep using their tomato products. The most comprehensive stock of them that I have found is at Hiller’s.

  8. Emily said,

    December 10, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Hillers! Excellent. Meijer only seems to have the pizza sauce, so far as I know. Too bad about the BPA. *sigh* I know some of their stuff comes in glass, but I think that’s only the pasta sauce.


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