Thursday, August 2, 2012

BPA in Canned Goods

BPA or Bisphenol-A is a chemical some studies link to reproductive problems and certain types of cancers. You probably already heard that it can be found in certain types of plastics- most likely the ones with the #7 recycling symbol at the bottom. Hopefully you are avoiding those... but OH NO! it is also in your canned goods as well. Many companies are working to rid their canned foods of the endocrine-disrupting chemical, but it is not going to be an easy road.

What is a suitable alternative? There can be food interactions and I wonder if it is safe to trust a new product. It seems often times the answer to a problem just creates another one. The new liners are likely to contain other chemicals, which probably have not been tested and may pose other risks to human health.

Certain foods do not take well whatever the type of can lining. Tomatoes for example, since they are acidic, are more prone to break down can linings, shortening shelf life and increasing the opportunities for bacteria to grow. Try to find them in glass jars for now if you can...or if you are really handy jar your own.

The cost of BPA-free cans is also slowing down  the switchover. The price per can is higher so many companies haven't fully embraced the change. Eden Foods has used BPA-free lining in their bean and chili cans since 1999. If you must purchase food in cans try to buy products such as theirs. Also look for food sold in glass containers. Pregnant women and children should be especially careful. I was bummed to learn about this because my daughters enjoy taking soup to school. I haven't seen too many soups sold in glass containers, but I am now on the lookout. I also plan to make some soups from the garden and store them myself.

Further Reading:
Why is It So Difficult for Companies to Go BPA Free?
7 Companies You Can Trust to Use BPA-Free Cans
Consumer Tips to Avoid BPA Exposure
Eden Foods

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