Over three-quarters of America's tomato consumption is in sauces and mixed foods
ERS researchers recently analyzed Americans’ vegetable consumption from all sources: plain raw or cooked vegetables; juices; sauces; and vegetables from mixed dishes like soups, stews, pasta dishes, and others. Tomatoes accounted for about a quarter of the average 1.5 cups of vegetables Americans ate per day. Most tomato is consumed as an ingredient in mixed foods, such as pastas and pizza. These mixed foods are much higher in sodium and calories than raw tomatoes. Researchers found that among foods prepared at home, raw tomatoes accounted for 22 percent of tomato consumption, while 24 percent came from tomato sauces for spaghetti and similar pastas. Among foods eaten away from home, pizza provided the largest share of tomato consumed (32 percent), followed by raw tomatoes (17 percent), and spaghetti and similar pastas with tomato sauce (15 percent). This chart appears in "Healthy Vegetables Undermined by the Company They Keep" in the May 2014 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.
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