From The Nutritionist

Natalie Brasch
Guest Author:
Natalie Brasch
 Daniel Sonke, DPM
Contributor:
Daniel Sonke, DPM

The Campbell Tomato Story

The reasons to celebrate tomatoes are numerous! Who doesn’t love the thought of a warm bowl of tomato soup on a cold winter night, or a ripe tomato and fresh mozzarella salad in the summer? Delicious anytime, tomatoes are nutrient-dense and come in over 7,500 varieties. At Campbell Soup Company, the story of the tomato is particularly special. This October, celebrate National Tomato Month by learning about the rich history of the tomato, Campbell’s sustainable tomato farming practices, and of course, by enjoying some Campbell’s® Tomato condensed soup and yummy dishes from Campbell’s Kitchen®!

A Mystery Unsolved

The origin of the tomato remains a mystery. The tomato was most likely cultivated in either Mexico or Peru, then carried to Europe by Spanish explorers before making its way around the world.1,2 In the early 1800s, the “Jersey tomato” came to be, when tomatoes were first introduced to the aptly named Garden State. By the mid-1800s, tomato farming grew tremendously in an effort to keep up with the demand of the tomato market and canning industry.3 In 1869, the business that would one day become the Campbell Soup Company was started.

The first can of Campbell’s ready-to-eat soup was introduced in 1895, and in 1897, the primary line of condensed soups was released. One of the first flavors was oxtail, along with tomato, chicken, vegetable, and consommé.3 Over the years, Campbell’s® Tomato condensed soup became a top 10 shelf-stable food item sold in United States’ grocery stores. Campbell is a growing global food company offering “real food that matters for life’s moments,” and continues to offer great tasting products paired with commitment to customer preferences and sustainability.

A Family Affair

An integral part of the company is its support of sustainable agriculture. Since the mid-1900s, when tomato processing was brought to California, family-owned farms have been growing Campbell’s high quality tomatoes. Some family farms have been growing with Campbell for 65 years, and are in their third generation of farmers, and 80% of Campbell’s growers have been partners for at least 25 years.4 In 2013, the average distance from partnering field to processing plant in Dixon or Stockton, CA, was just 37 miles! This is remarkable, as these partnering farms deliver over 850,000 tons of tomatoes to Campbell per year.4 I asked Dr. Daniel Sonke, manager of the Agriculture Sustainability Program at Campbell, to share his expertise on tomato farming. The Agriculture Sustainability Program, spearheaded by Dr. Sonke, was launched in 2012, with a focus on five priority areas: water use, greenhouse gases, fertilizer use, soil quality, and pesticides.4 Campbell promotes drip

Dr. Sonke inspects
tomatoes for harvest
irrigation among their growers in order to improve water conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help prevent soil erosion. In 2013, drip irrigation was used on 42% of the acres where Campbell’s tomatoes were grown. This method uses approximately 25% less water than traditional irrigation methods.6 In addition, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by roughly 25% when drip irrigation is used to deliver fertilizer closer to plant roots.6 Dr. Sonke discussed Campbell’s promotion of on-farm biodiversity through individualized farm efforts such as owl boxes to promote natural pest control, and hedgerows on farm margins to promote beneficial birds and insects.5

Savvy about Sustainability

Through these combined efforts, Campbell has displayed efficient use of water during crop production, has received several awards for reduced pesticide use, and has managed to enhance biodiversity on farms.4 The bulk of Campbell’s responsible agriculture efforts is focused on the cultivation of tomatoes.4 With the popularity of the tomato and its high market demand, it is important that tomato farming maintains a focus on sustainable, environmentally-smart agricultural methods. Americans now consume a per-person average of 22 pounds of tomatoes per year, and the tomato follows directly behind the potato as one of the most frequently consumed vegetables in the world.1 Amazingly, the tomato is an ingredient in varying amounts in hundreds of Campbell products as diverse as Campbell’s® Tomato condensed soup to Xplosive Pizza Goldfish® crackers!4

Get Cooking!

To continue the celebration of the tomato at home, incorporate Campbell’s® Tomato soup as a secret ingredient into some delicious recipes that Campbell’s Kitchen® has prepared for you, including a Grilled Bruschetta Chicken, Glazed Carrot Raisin Cupcakes, and Coconut Tomato Red Curry. Get more tasty tomato ideas here.

This October, it’s easy to see why the tomato, with its mysterious origin, is something to celebrate! With these simple recipes, your family can enjoy tomatoes all year long.

Bon Appétit!

Natalie

Natalie’s Bio:

Natalie is a second-year graduate student at Drexel University, completing a Didactic Program in Dietetics and working towards becoming a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Elizabethtown College in 2007. Natalie has several years of experience in food service and healthcare recruiting. She is active in the community, and has volunteered with nutrition organizations in Philadelphia including food pantries, a farm stand, and hunger relief organizations. She has served as a contributing writer for a nutrition promotion website, and is excited to take on a new opportunity in K-12 nutrition education during the 2014-2015 school year.

Dr. Daniel Sonke’s Bio:

Dan Sonke grew up working on his family's almond farm near Ripon, California. An expert on environmental issues in agriculture, Dan has previously served as Assistant Integrated Pest Management Coordinator for the University of Florida, Director of Science for Protected Harvest, and Senior Scientist for SureHarvest, Inc. His Doctorate in Plant Medicine (DPM) is a cutting edge professional degree in crop health management from the University of Florida. He has developed sustainable agriculture programs for fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and nuts, including the California Almond Sustainability Program. In a reverse twist on the soup-to-nuts approach, he was hired in 2011 by Campbell Soup Company as Manager of Agriculture Sustainability Program to develop the company’s approach to sustainability in agriculture.

References
  1. Bergougnoux, V. (2014). The history of tomato: From domestication to biopharming. Biotechnology Advances, 32(1): 170-189.
  2. Jenkins, J. A. (1948). The Origin of the Cultivated Tomato. Economic Botany, 2(4): 379-392. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4251913
  3. Smith, A. (2004). Campbell Soup Company. In Maxine N. Lurie and Marc Mappen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Pages 807-808.
  4. Intro to Campbell Agriculture Sustainability. (2014) Slideset from Dr. Daniel Sonke.
  5. D. Sonke, interview, August 7, 2014.
  6. Campbell’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.campbellcsr.com/Opportunities/NutritionAwarness.html

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.