Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tomato Ketchup in US and German home-made one

                                 What a Ketchup Bottle Tells Us About Life in the U.S.

I've been working on sharpening my observation skills. Today, I took notice of a bottle of ketchup on the table in a restaurant. I was at first attracted to the words, “Plant bottle, 30% made from plastics, 100% recyclable bottle. I had no idea that ketchup had gone green.

The next part that caught my attention was a small square of an abstract drawing. “Ketchup Lovers, Unite! Scan this code or text FRIEND to 5700.” Wow! Marketing is going in some very strange directions these days. Should I care how many people love ketchup? Why? And why would I want them to know that I love ketchup?”  

Which I don't, because the next thing I read were the ingredients. Although written in the same small letters as the other ingredients, my eyes picked out two -- High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup (why would ketchup need both, or either?), which my health guru, Dr. Andrew Weil, has been telling me for years NOT to eat for health's sake. I switched long ago to tomato paste when I want a ketchupy taste.

In smaller print at the bottom of the bottle were the words, “from Heinz Seeds.” I hadn't realized that there is such a thing as specific Heinz Seeds. That made me realize how little I know about seeds that our foods are grown from. Guess some company “owns” everything when you look into it.

Lastly, I looked at the bottle itself and realized it was upside down. The lid was on the bottom! No more hitting the bottom of a glass bottle and having it splash all over the plate. How long has ketchup been upside down? Why did it take the company so many years to “improve” how ketchup plopped on a plate? Hmm!  Instead of a message in a bottle, I found messages on the bottle.Suellen Zima, a contributor to from the start. 

And now to my home-made version of tomato ketchup.And I won't make this a recipe exchange, I promise.

I made ketchup for a few years out of our own organically grown tomatoes. It does need  some kind of sugar for it to keep and if you want your hopeful off spring even to taste it, never mind like it. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to without skin the tomatoes first which resulted in strings of peels in the sauce and bottle. With a disgust in their little faces that I had never seen before they pushed it way. (Only surpassed by the occasional caterpillar or bug on organic cauliflower on their plates!)We always had 36 tomato plants in our greenhouse which gives a mighty good ketchup. Normally I would freeze them for later use like many a vegetable. Especially useful for spaghetti sauces. When we emigrated to Ireland, however, we couldn't take the content of our freezers with us. What do you do with dozens of frozen bags of tomatoes? Instead of letting them spoil, I cooked ketchup and bottled it, careful to leave 1/2 inch of olive oil on top in order to preserve it properly. I had over 20 bottles. They made the big move safely--only to be snarled at by the kids.I loved it in spite of seeds and peels and all! Less sweet! Bon appetit! Regarding the Heinz seeds that's news to me too. Unless you find organic seeds somewhere, Monsanto has a firm monopoly on seeds worldwide squeezing every other producer to the wall and going GM on it. GM is another topic. I wrote about it being allowed and prevailing in the industry here whereas in Germany it's forbidden and most European countries,at least it has to be labelled as such.
The Ex Farmer's Wife

1 comment:

  1. How right you are about Monsanto, and of course, Dupont, Con Agra, and the whole plotting lot of them. Those who keep up with OpEd news can tell us about the agricultural cartel and their plan to bring back the banned pesticide 24D, one half of that infamous herbicide Agent Orange used in Vietnam to literally defoliate the countryside. It seems our present farm weeds have out thought and outbred the catrel's wonder killer, Roundup. When it comes to the evolutionary war between human killer chemistry and bugs and weeds, I am betting on the latter. Sandy.