Last updated on July 31st, 2022 at 11:46 am
A few readers asked me to give them a list of canned goods that contain BPA so they know what to avoid. Sadly, this list is easier to write the other way around since almost ALL canned food – even the organic stuff – contains BPA in the cans lining. It’s used as epoxy to keep the can and the food from coming in contact. A few brands have started using alternatives (more on that later), which are the ones I am aware of. I will make this a WORKING list in progress and add to it as I discover new products. As always, readers, if you know of a canned food brand that belongs here, let me know and I’ll add it.
The Environmental Working Group published a study 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 a 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 make 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. While BPA is no longer allowed in baby products and formula packaging, there is still a concern of other chemicals leaching into baby’s food.
- 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.
BPA Free Canned Food Brands
- Oregon’s Choice Albacore Tuna
- Eden Foods
- Trader Joe’s Canned corn, green beans, coconut milk, all beans (reg and organic), tuna, poultry, and canned tomatoes
- Vital Choice Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Mackrel & Sardines
- Tiny Eco-Fish Canned Albacore Tuna
- Wild Planet 5 oz. Skipjack Tuna & 5 oz. Albacore Tuna
- Edward & Sons
- Bionaturae Canned tomatoes (they are labeled BPA-free)
- Natural Value: All organic tomatoes, all tuna products, all cat food products
- Muir Glen (transitioning to BPA Free cans for their tomato products. The process has been slow and I wouldn’t expect to be able to tell which ones are BPA-free unless you buy them and open them to look at the lining.)
- ConAgra Foods the maker of Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim snacks has removed BPA from SOME of its Hunt’s tomato products. They are looking into transitioning
Not working on it:
- Coca Cola
- Pepsi Co
Both companies have stated that they will not be changing to BPA Free any time.
I would love for this list to become useless when all companies phase out BPA. But that will take some time and persistence. There is some concern that any alternatives used could be worse or just as bad (so I still maintain that it’s easy and not expensive to go can-free). Companies are using oleoresin, a natural mixture of oil and a resin extracted from various plants. Muir Glen and Eden Foods are phasing it in. I am trying to find out more information about it but it’s still new so information is limited. I will of course update you on any new information.