Tomatoes naturally contain a good amount of Vitamin C. Even after heating and processing, products like salsa and pasta sauce should still retain a portion of their vitamin C. But this isn’t always the case.
So where did the vitamin C go?
Chalk it up to modernity.
So-called modern marvels, such as growing tomatoes in nutrient-poor soil or being able to pick unripe tomatoes and then ripen them in-transport, are in part to blame. Scientists also postulate that the use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides may play a part.
When choosing tomato based products, even those that are processed should still have some vitamin C. Don’t be fooled by labels – organic tomatoes can be grown in sand and picked green. Conventional tomatoes can be grown in nutrient-rich soil and ripened on the vine. Sadly, it’s the imported tomato products have the highest levels of vitamin C, not USA tomatoes.
When buying a tomato-based product, aim for the following levels of naturally occurring vitamin C:
- Fresh Tomatoes – 40% Vitamin C or more
- Pasta Sauce, Canned or Boxed Tomatoes – 30% Vitamin C or more
- Salsa – 10% Vitamin C or more