Why do Italians love tomatoes so much

Italian tomato products from China?

Many tomato cans look as if their contents came from Italy: The can is green, white and red, and the slogan “Made in Italy” is printed on it. In reality, however, the tomatoes contained may actually have been grown in China.

Tomatoes are a global product

Tomatoes are produced and processed globally due to the high price pressure. In China, farmers sometimes only receive one cent per kilogram of tomatoes. In southern Italy, farmers are paid ten cents for a kilogram of tomatoes. Many producers have to compensate for these low prices through precarious working conditions for the pickers. Many of them are illegal migrants who have to toil in the fields under slave-like conditions. In northern Italy, on the other hand, tomato prices are significantly higher - and most of the field workers work legally.

How to recognize tomatoes from Italy

An isotope analysis commissioned by Marktcheck shows that some tomato products from the German supermarket most likely also contain Chinese tomatoes. Consumers can only see whether the tomatoes in the can or in the jar actually come from Italy through voluntary information from the manufacturer on the packaging. In the case of organic products, the EU organic seal provides information about the origin of the tomatoes. The imprint “100 percent Italian tomatoes” also guarantees tomatoes from Italy. If only “Made in Italy” or “Made in Italy” is printed, then non-Italian tomatoes may also have been processed.

Organic and branded products reduce price pressure

Consumers can use branded and organic products to reduce the price pressure on producers and farmers. This enables manufacturers to pay their farm workers better wages and is not pressured into exploiting illegal migrants.

Less harmful substances in tomatoes in the glass

The substance bisphenol A can be contained in the coatings of cans, for example for tomatoes. This substance is considered to be hormonally effective. If you do not want to risk that such pollutants are transferred from the packaging to the tomatoes, you should buy tomato products in jars. There are no harmful substances in glass and it can also be completely recycled.

The Federal Center for Nutrition has summarized what labels there are for tomatoes in Germany and what they mean.

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