Thursday, January 26, 2012

BPA lurking in your cupboard

Are you concerned about BPA leaching out of plastic food packaging? Yeah, me, too. That's why I'm trying to switch over to food storage containers made of glass or stainless steel. Admittedly, I still have some plastic containers in my fridge right now, however. Of course, I never, and I mean never, heat anything up in the microwave in plastic. Even on the rare occasion I eat a frozen meal, I pop it out of the plastic it's in and put it in a microwave-safe glass bowl. It just makes sense to me.

Actually, I don't use my microwave often anymore. It scares me a bit. I generally reheat things on the stove in my GreenPans.

But taking all these precautions doesn't do much good if the food I'm eating is coming out of a can lined with bisphenol-A, right? But, how do you know if a can contains BPA, and why would it anyway?? After all, it's metal. Yeah, that's what I thought. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and the fact is that most canned food is poisoned by BPA. The worst leaching occurs in canned food that is salty, fatty or acidic (like tomato sauces, soups, etc.) Crap.

The more I learn, the angrier I become. And the more I long for summer and local farmer's markets. Even if I go to the store and avoid the canned goods section, I'm still picking up meats and produce packaged in styrofoam and BPA-laced plastic wrap. Crap. Crap. CRAP!!!!! What are these food manufacturers trying to do to us?

And don't even get me started about BPA in infant formula!!

Why am I so worked up about BPA? Well, because I don't want breast cancer, for one, and bisphenol-A is strongly linked to it. Cancer and reproductive issues, ADHD, immune system damage, and ... get this ... OBESITY!! So, perhaps it's not how much you're eating that's making you fat. It might just be the packing it came from!! And that might explain part of the reason obesity is not such an issue in countries where the residents buy fresh food at the markets.

According to Breast Cancer Fund's website, here are the top 10 canned foods to avoid (unless they are in cans specifically marked BPA-free):
  • Coconut milk (I hate coconut ... so far I'm safe)
  • Soup (well, there goes that!)
  • Meat (I generally don't buy canned meat -- SPAM is in my email, not in my cupboard)
  • Vegetables (but I really like canned mushrooms)
  • Meals (Uh oh, Spaghettios!)
  • Juice (is there anything safe about juice these days??)
  • Fish (canned fish isn't a problem in our home, either)
  • Beans (I stick to fresh or frozen here)
  • Meal-replacement drinks (this is almost humorous -- let's skip the meal to lose weight, but pack on some extra BPA pounds!)
  • Fruit (I love, love, love canned fruit)
Is there anything left?? This list was compiled after testing 300 products.

Feeling rather helpless, I did take the time to contact Del Monte, General Mills and Campbell Soup and ask them to let me know what they are doing to address this serious issue. After all, I wrote, I know you care about what goes into the bodies of your kids. I also told them I have a blog that focuses on healthier living and am looking forward to sharing with my readers what steps the companies are taking to get BPA out of their cans. It will be interesting to see if I get a response.

If you would like to contact them, there is a form letter you can send from the Breast Cancer Fund website. I encourage you to take the time to send an email to all three companies.

You can also check out this list of foods sold in BPA-free cans. Thank you, The Soft Landing, for making this list available! This is a worthy-of-checking-out website. Loads and loads of information to help you raise healthier kids!!

Not wanting to scare you, but sharing what I know,



  1. You may want to consider the levels that many of these studies are being carried out at...even products that are being prepared in BPA free environments are showing detectable levels in various studies. Vital Choice products have no BPA in the lining but it is showing up in studies !
    Science has outpaced common sense in its ability to detect trace levels of contaminants. Apple juice is bad because there are trace arsenic levels. BPA is present in lake Michigan at about 0.5 parts per billion. btw; 1 ppb is like finding one specific blade of grass on a football field.
    Even public water can have trace BPA due to the epoxy linings in the pipes and tanks. The average person has a few ppbs in them at any given time.
    Claiming that 4 bad blades of grass are 400% worse than 1 is ludicrous. These headlines generate fear and panic and promote law suits. Sigg is already suffering from variuous suits when they tried to claim BPA free. If free is absolute zero, it won't be anywhere.

  2. So, "Anonymous," what do you suggest? Not being concerned at all? Not being vigilant in trying to protect your family?

    I opt to do whatever I can to avoid known cancer-causing substances. And, with my blog, I try to educate the community to do the same.

  3. My point is that the studies being conducted have an alternate intention - generate money for suits. And that numerous "educated" asociations have disproven low dose effects. The European Food Saftey Authority, Japan's ministry of health, even the US FDA cannot generate bad results from these ultra low doses and levels of BPA. They give it an unknown and a potential rating because of the incredible press coverage. Look at what's happening in France - the politicians are passing the laws but the government doesn't see the danger.

    These low does arguements are akin to lottery propaganda;
    Your chances of wining the lottery are 1 in 10 million. However if you buy a second ticket, your chances have gone up by 100%. You're still not going to win, but that certainly seems better. Now go and buy 4000 tickets. You have a better chance, by 4000 times higher but its still very unlikely that you will win. These studies do the same thing; your chance of contracting any cancer from BPA is unbelieveably / incredibly low, but by drinking a can of pop and eating a can of soup every day, you've essentially bought a few 100 hundred lottery tickets - you still won't win but it seems very bad when you say 4000 times. What if they simply said the levels increased from .05 ppb to 20 ppb. Big deal, its still way below any government established regulation buy factors of 100s, but there's no headlines there. Say 4000 times higher, there's a headline. There's fear and panic and law suits.

    I completely agree with watch dog groups and being diligent. I'm a consumer as is my family, However this issue is secretly about suits and percetption and not sound science. The "experts" don't agree and the law firms funding these private studies have alterior motives.

    The press in this case is not educating - its fear mongering

    Concerned Chemist

  4. my husband works in the plastic industry; because of his knowledge of the chemistry formulations of certain plastics, we cleared our cupboards a number of years ago, even the baby bottles we were just given as baby shower gifts.

    What is astonishing to me is the the studies I've read about people having their blood tested to see how much of these estrogen-mimicking chemicals are present in their blood. And its in 90% of newborns' cord blood.

    Yes, the amount in a single source might be very small. But consider someone who is eating out of warm plastic every meal, reusing a water disposable bottle, and eating multiple elements of food every meal and snack that was packaged in certain plastics. Then add on the parabens in lotions, skin creams, make up, etc., and the amount is continually mounting--except for people who make conscious strides to eliminate the sources they can.

  5. Thanks for your added insight, Renee.


Search This Blog