The Environmental Working Group published a study last year that was done on Bisphenol-a in canned food. Now that bottles and containers are under scrutiny in the media, I think it’s important to point out that BPA lurks in more than just your sippy cup. The EWG has been banging pots and pans together over BPA in canned for for a long time now and for good reason. The levels found in common cans of soup and baby formula are more than unsettling.
What’s even more upsetting is that while people are clamoring about where to return baby bottles, what they don’t know is that they could be exposed to much higher levels from canned food and canned infant formula than they realize, putting the bottle issue at the bottom of our lists of concerns.
Studies show canned foods are a predominant source of daily BPA exposure in our lives. Food and drink cans are lined with a BPA-containing plastic. Beverages appear to contain less BPA residues, while canned pasta and soups contain the highest levels. EWG found that the worst foods tested put pregnant women and formula-fed infants within an unacceptable margin of safety to levels that cause harmful effects in laboratory animals. Typical exposures are within a 10 to 100-fold range of the effects that cause harm in a laboratory setting.
If you’ve been reading us for any amount of time you’ll know what the adverse effects of BPA exposure are, but the extent could be far more extensive than we realize putting pregnant women and children at higher risks. Now, you don’t need to go checking for symptoms or anything, because there is none to speak of. The unknown and the possible effects are what makes the issue worrisome. What you can do, is make subtle changes to start eliminating BPA or reducing your exposure.
- Choose glass over canned when possible. It is true, lids on glass jars can have some traces of BPA from the coating but the levels of BPA in a glass container versus a can are substanital.
- Choose fresh or frozen. Frozen veggies are sometimes flash frozen right after harvest so they maintain a higher nutritional value than canned. Or scrap it all and buy fresh… even better, fresh organic.
- Choose powdered formula. If you don’t breastfeed, choose a formula in powdered form. Liquid baby formula has some of the highest BPA levels that the EWG tested. Read their recent study on BPA in baby formula.
- Seek out BPA Free Canned Goods. Some companies are starting to emerge with a new method of lining cans. Eden Organic is a good example. Their beans (only) are canned in BPA Free cans. Check out my list of BPA Free canned food.
Sources: EWG’s Report on Canned Food