Not Exactly Tomato Paste

Contadina Tomato Paste is much lower in sodium than their Tomato Paste Products.

Even though I read labels religiously, every now and again something gets by me. Such was the case last week when I zipped through the tomato sauce aisle and grabbed what I thought was my regular can of tomato paste. When the dust settled and I was unpacking things at home, I discovered I had instead picked up Contadina Tomato Paste Product with Italian Herbs.

What’s the difference?

Well for starters it’s not tomato paste. It’s a “tomato paste product.”

And then there’s the sodium content. Although Contadina Tomato Paste has just 20 mg. sodium in a 2 T serving, the tomato paste product has a whopping 290 mg. sodium in the same size serving. That’s 1450 mg. sodium in a can — and I use 2 cans in my favorite Black Bean and Mushroom Lasagna recipe. Sure, with the traditional product it’s a low sodium dish, but not so much if you accidentally pick up the wrong can.

To make matters worse the two cans look very similar. The only difference is  a small green box with the words “with Italian herbs” on the tomato paste product.

I have to admit it could have been worse though. Contadina also has a Tomato Paste Product with Roasted Garlic and a Tomato Paste Product with Pesto — both of which contain even more sodium. The former has 1650 mg. sodium per can, while the latter contains a whopping 4040 mg. per can.

So be careful in the store — don’t do what I did. Read those labels carefully , and just say no to tomato paste products. After all, you can add your own Italian herbs at home.

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