Monday, March 2, 2009

BPA - in more than just plastic containers!

According to a recent study, 17% of the typical American's food comes out of cans, and most manufacturers of use cans that have an epoxy liner made with BPA. BPA is a chemical which acts like human estrogen and has been linked to reproductive cancers,early puberty in girls, miscarriages, obesity, and birth defects in male and female reproductive systems. Many people have been concerned about the leaching of BPA from polycarbonate bottles but the danger from canned food may be greater. The Environmental Working Group tested canned food bought across America and found shocking results.
They tested 97 cans of name-brand fruit, vegetables, soda, and other commonly eaten canned goods and found BPA in more than half of them, at levels they call "200 times the government's traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals." There are no standards for BPA; it is allowed to be put in anything, and billions of pounds are produced each year. The EWG found that of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.

So what are we to do?

Don't use canned baby formula! If you must use formula, choose powered.

Don't eat canned food if you are pregnant! The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says "We don't want to tell people not to eat canned beans or tomatoes," said CSPI nutritionist David Schardt. "But at the same time, it makes sense for all parents, and especially pregnant and nursing women, to minimize the exposure of their kids' developing bodies and brains to BPA."

Buy in bottles - preferably glass - not cans! Many products, like chili, are available in glass or plastic bottles as well as cans. Does that white epoxy on the inside of the metal lid have BPA? Probably, but there is a lot less surface area than the whole inside of a can.

Start cooking like Grandma used to do - using whold foods from scratch! It takes more time but it's worth it for your health and the health of those you love!