Diced tomatoes are available in a number of varieties and are used in sauces, soups, and stews. They often contain preservatives and dyes, but this is not necessarily the case with organic products. If you want to be safe in terms of quality and natural ingredients, it is best to grow seasonal fresh tomatoes yourself.
General information about tomatoes:
From Wikipedia: “The tomato is the edible fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant, which belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae.
The species originated in Central and South America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word "tomate", from which the English word tomato originates.
Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year and in cooler areas. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and grown as an annual in temperate climates. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz).
Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry-type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables, being ingredients of savory meals.”
“The tomato is now grown and eaten around the world. It is used in diverse ways, including raw in salads, and processed into ketchup or tomato soup. Unripe green tomatoes can also be breaded and fried, used to make salsa, or pickled. Tomato juice is sold as a drink, and is used in cocktails such as the Bloody Mary.
Tomatoes are acidic, making them especially easy to preserve in home canning whole, in pieces, as tomato sauce or paste. The fruit is also preserved by drying, often in the sun, and sold either in bags or in jars with oil.
Although tomatoes originated in the Americas, they have become extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine. They are a key ingredient in pizza, and are commonly used in pasta sauces. They are also used in gazpacho (Spanish cuisine) and pa amb tomàquet (Catalan cuisine).
Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is a vegetable for culinary purposes, because of its savory flavor.”
“Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the toxic alkaloid tomatine. They also contain small amounts of solanine, a toxic alkaloid found in potato leaves and other plants in the nightshade family. Use of tomato leaves in herbal tea has been responsible for at least one death. However, levels of tomatine in foliage and green fruit are generally too small to be dangerous unless large amounts are consumed, for example, as greens. Small amounts of tomato foliage are sometimes used for flavoring without ill effect, and the green fruit is sometimes used for cooking, particularly as fried green tomatoes. Compared to potatoes, the amount of solanine in green or ripe tomatoes is low; however, even in the case of potatoes while solanine poisoning resulting from dosages several times normal human consumption has been demonstrated, actual cases of poisoning resulting from excessive consumption of potatoes that have high concentration of solanine are rare. Tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material.
Tomatoes were linked to seven salmonella outbreaks between 1990 and 2005, and may have been the cause of a salmonellosis outbreak causing 172 illnesses in 18 US states in 2006, The 2008 United States salmonellosis outbreak also caused the removal of tomatoes from stores and restaurants across the United States and parts of Canada, although other foods, including jalapeño and serrano peppers, may have been involved.”
“A tomato is 95% water, contains 4% carbohydrates and less than 1% each of fat and protein. In a 100 gram amount, raw tomatoes supply 18 calories and are a moderate source of vitamin C (17% of the Daily Value), but otherwise are absent of significant nutrient content.”
Potential health effects:
“There is no conclusive evidence that the lycopene in tomatoes or in supplements affects the onset of cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
In the United States, supposed health benefits of consuming tomatoes, tomato products or lycopene to affect cancer cannot be mentioned on packaged food products without a qualified health claim statement. In a scientific review of potential claims for lycopene favorably affecting DNA, skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation, heart function and vision, the European Food Safety Authority concluded there was insufficient evidence for lycopene having any of these effects.”