In an effort to dispel recent critiques in the media about the flavor of tomatoes, Immokalee, Fla.-based grower shipper Lipman is giving tomatoes away.

Lipman gives away tomatoesThe grower-shipper plans to give free samples of its Vintage Ripe heirloom tomatoes through its website,, and it’s donating tomatoes to local schools.

The company, which says it’s North America’s largest field-grown tomato grower, launched the giveaway to offer consumers “true tomato taste,” according to a news release.

Media reports in the last year have questioned the flavor of commercially grown tomatoes, after a book on the subject, “Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit,” by Barry Estabrook, was published in June 2011.

“In recent months, there’s been a lot of talk about how today’s tomatoes are ‘flavorless,’” Kent Shoemaker, Lipman’s chief executive officer, said in the release. “It’s time to set the record straight, which is why we’re giving away samples of our most flavorful tomato, the Vintage Ripe. Specially grown for that authentic tomato taste, we’re confident this variety will deliver the flavor consumers long for.”

Through Sept. 14, Lipman is encouraging consumers to register to win free two-pack samples.

Earlier in the year, Lipman started, a consumer-focused website.

The site features tomato facts, nutrition information and recipes from food bloggers created for Lipman.

Lipman also distributed 700 backpacks to Immokalee children during the Collier County Sheriff Office’s “National Night Out” event and the company collected school supplies through the April Homerun Harvest softball tournament.

Other grower-shippers contributing to the effort included Homestead, Fla.-based DiMare Co., Palmetto, Fla.-based Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd., and Taylor & Fulton Packing LLC.