Pro-Tip: On Buying Tomato Sauce


I had a brief moment of insanity in the grocery store the other night. I was stocking up for a week’s worth of meals and needed to find tomato sauce. I knew that store bought tomato sauces are fraught with a shit-ton of unnecessary ingredients, preservatives and additives, but I also knew I’ve been able to find some that were pretty decent in the past.

So I went to the Pasta Aisle, giving a bitchy side-eye to the rows upon rows of pasta (“Now with Heart Healthy Whole Grains!” = me mentally saying “Hey! Fuck you!”), and settled upon the tomato sauces. And what did I find? Not a single goddamned sauce that didn’t contain some bad, not good, just plain rude ingredients. Soybean oil. Canola oil. Sugar. High fructose corn syrup. From Ragu to Newman’s Own (why, Paul, WHYYYY??) to Organic Generic Brand, nothing was right. I’m fairly sure the lady stocking the shelves down the aisle from me thought I was insane or some bonkers Portland hippie the way I kept grabbing jars and cans, reading labels, and throwing them back on the shelves in disgust.


Then I remembered where I’d found the”good” sauces in the past. Not in the Inflammatory, Gut Expanding Pasta Aisle, but in the Canned Vegetables Aisle. The tomatoes section. Even there you have to tread lightly– there are a decent number of types of canned* tomatoes, pastes, and sauces that contain tricky ingredients– but not nearly as many as the pasta sauce section. The generic canned tomato sauce had just tomato, a few spices, and the slightly nebulous “natural ingredients”, which I admit was worrisome, but not nearly as much as the other labels.

So. My pro-tip. Go to the Canned Vegetables Aisle for all your Tomato Sauce Needs.


*Let’s just ignore the BPA liner thing for a second, because otherwise I really will go insane.


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One Response to “Pro-Tip: On Buying Tomato Sauce”

  1. lacey Says:

    For sheez. The trick is to look not for sauce, but just canned tomatoes or stewed tomatoes or some such thing.

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