I was plenty interested in seeing what Jason Stratton of Spinasse was doing with organic tomatoes at this event last night. But the first question I hear when I say “Muir Glen” these days, I told the organizers, is when their tomato cans will be free of BPA.

The company announced last year that it would have BPA-free cans with “the next harvest,” delighting customers who are tearing out their hair trying to find ways to avoid the endocrine disrupter, but leaving them without a firm date.

Good news: “It’s already happened,” said Julie Johnson, an internal marketing communications consultant for General Mills, which owns Muir Glen. The harvest in question was the fall one, the tomatoes have already been packaged in BPA-free, non-epoxy-lined cans, and “they are literally hitting the stores now”. When the shipments are complete the company will announce the news from the rooftops. So for now, the Muir Glen tomatoes you find at the market might be BPA-free. Wait for the announcement and it’ll be a sure thing (or, at least, as sure as you can be these days). Eden Foods, an early adopter of BPA-free packaging for its beans,  has noted that their alternative cans cost them 14 percent more to produce. I didn’t ask Johnson about production costs, but she did say that Muir Glen did not raise retail prices when they made the switch.

One interesting note: Eden Foods now packages tomatoes in glass jars, citing the difficulty of finding BPA-free linings for such high-acid canned foods. I’ll update when I know more about what Muir Glen is using.

Bookmark and Share