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Thursday, April 1, 2010

What?? BPA In Organic Canned Food Too?

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I have to share with you what I have been learning in the past couple of days. I am very disturbed by this, and it saddens me that manufacturers care so little about us consumers to put out such poor products. But, it is true. No matter if you are buying organic or nonorganic canned food, there is most likely BPA in your canned food. I thought I was doing well for my family by buying healthy organic cans of tomatoes, beans, and other staples. But, noooooooo, those same supposed healthy foods are laced with dangerous BPA. I don't know about you, but I am really bothered by this.

Why am I bothered by BPA? Well, BPA is used in the lining of cans and the toxin leaches from the lining into the food. Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a chemical thought to increase the risk of infertility, cancer, diabetes, and even heart disease. Yuck!!

The Environmental Working Group, who have tested canned food for BPA, states,

“Canned foods are thought to be the predominate route of BPA exposure…Two of six cans of infant formula tested contained BPA. The exposure that an infant might receive from canned formula, given his or her small size and limited food sources, makes the level of contamination in these cans particularly disturbing…For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals…we found that significant fractions of women who regularly eat canned food would exceed safe levels of BPA exposures on average throughout pregnancy.”

Consumer Reports did a thorough study on BPA in canned goods. Here are some of their findings:

-Consumer Reports revealed that highest levels of BPA have been found in canned soups, tuna and green beans.

-Even cans labeled BPA-free contained BPA. And,BPA levels weren’t equal in all the cans they tested. The level of BPA (35.9) parts per billion (ppb) was so high in Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans Blue Lake that the maximum safe amount of BPA allowed by the FDA would be exceeded by eating one serving of the product.

-The following two companies were the only ones found to offer any canned food that is free of BPA. (Only two?? That is not comforting!)

1.Eden Foods (Organic Canned Beans)
2.Henry & Lisa`s Natural Seafood (Sashimi-Grade Canned Albacore Tuna)

When I read this all, I felt stuck. What are we supposed to do? It isn't very likely that I will stop buying all canned food. But, we can reduce our usage. You can make a big old pot of soup and then freeze it for easy reheating. You can try to boil and cook your own black beans and lentils. Although I tried that and failed miserably, I will have to try again. :-) You can also make sure and rinse your canned food when it is possible to rinse away some of that BPA.

Please let us know your thoughts on this topic and any ideas you have for lessening BPA in our food!


  1. Scary stuff! I've made my own black beans for the past couple of years. It helps if you soak them in water in the fridge over night first and then boil them for about twice the time it says on the package!

  2. Thanks for the tip, Jenni! I tried to make my own beans, but they were icky. I think I will try it again and try soaking them first in the fridge like you suggested!


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