Sacramento Tomato Juice, Branding & Labeling

I love tomato juice. When i was a child we bought Sacramento Tomato Juice in cans. One day in the 1960’s my mom came home and pointed out the packaging had changed. what had changed on it was the label now added the words “made from concentrate”. It tasted like the can. easily discernable difference in flavor. My mom bought up all the Sacramento Tomato Juice she could find that was NOT from concentrate. Of course the hoarde ran out but it planted a seed in my mind.

When i drink US produced tomato juice which is almost always pasturized and from concentrate i get terrible heartburn, sometimes for more than 12 hours. Unbearable. But when i drink tomato juice on my travels in Europe, i can drink a quart at a time with no ill after affects. If i went to a US doctor with my ‘problem’ he would prescribe some big pharmaceutical prescription drug.

But here I am with a valid question. Why can i drink tomato juice in Europe but not in the USA? Along with other foods i can’t eat here, but i can eat there the answer is there is something in the processing of the food. I have the same issue with orange juice and milk (but not raw milk).

The answer is pasturization – which is a heating process that denatures the food. European tomato juice is not pasturized. it’s delicious, much lower in salt and it’s thoroughly enjoyable as it doesn’t leave me in horrible gastric distress for half a day.

So the seed my mother planted as a child, unknown to either of us, has me curious and observant enough to track down why i can eat some foods there, but not here. Pay attention to the ingredients, the processing, transport and storage.

What i’ve observed over many years is that these processing changes, not only change the flavor, texture and human tolerance for a food, but they also create markets. Now you have a choice with orange juice, low acid, low pulp, no pulp, extra pulp, all natural – but they all cause me distress, all are pasturized. what OJ not give me any trouble at all? fresh squeezed from the orange (and non-pasturized OJ i get in Europe).

So before you go running to the doctor for yet another prescription, you might read the labels carefully on the food you eat and see if there might be something in the processing that might be disagreeable with your body.

How can something be 100% Tomato Juice and have ‘added ingredients’. Some parts of the label are legally required, some parts are ‘PURE’ marketing.
Look at all those iconic labels! I am a fan of BPA/BPS free liners, until we find out what they’ve substituted. There is no substitute for fresh squeezed juice in a glass or non-reactive container.
Maybe those allergies aren’t to wheat/dairy/egg, maybe they are due to something in the storage or processing of those foods.

I won’t buy this can of Sacremento tomato juice today. why?

  1. It’s pasteurized, which destroys the flavor – and it gives me terrible heartburn.
  2. It’s canned – and taste like the can more than tomatoes as it’s been stored at wildly varying temperatures during it’s transport.
  3. It’s from concentrate, which means additional unnecessary processing.
  4. it’s label is misleading, it has additives, therefore is not 100% tomato juice.
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