Alternatives to BPA in Canned Foods

It’s not new news that the tin cans used for canned food is lined with a resin containing bisphenol-A (BPA).  The only new news is that every week there seems to be new research warning of BPA’s dangerous effects.  Unfortunately, avoiding canned food altogether is just not feasible for every family.  There are ways, however, to minimize your use of canned foods and the effect that BPA may have on you and your family.

1.  Buy tomato based products in glass or TetraPaks. Acidity causes BPA leaching and tomatoes have a lot of it.  You can get glass tomato paste and strained tomatoes from Bionaturae and crushed and diced tomatoes from San Marzano.  Trader Joe’s carries an Italian Tomato Starter Sauce in a TetraPak and Pomi has both chopped and strained tomatoes, along with a marinara sauce in TetraPaks.

2. Buy Eden Foods canned goods. According to their website, “All 33 Eden Organic Beans including Chili, Rice & Beans, Refried, and Flavored, are cooked in steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel that does not contain the endocrine disrupter chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA). Oleoresin is a non-toxic mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir. Thes cans cost 14% more than the industry standard cans that do contain BPA. The Ball Corporation tells us that Eden is the only U.S. food maker to date to use these BPA free cans and we have been since April 1999.”   Buy online.

3. Buy dried goods and cook them. Searching through my pantry, I find that many of my canned food purchases are beans – kidney, white, garbanzo or black.  I can buy dried beans and cook them for my meals, it takes about an hour in a saucepan or just minutes with a pressure cooker.

4. Grow or pick your own.  Spring is around the corner so start thinking about planting a fruit and/or veggie garden.  I promise it’s not a lot of work – start small with a few easy to grow veggies this summer and keep adding year after year.  It feels good to walk outside each day and pick the fruit of your labor (literally).  What you don’t eat can be canned (in glass) for the winter.  If you don’t want to grow your own, go to a farm and pick them.  Last summer, we picked over 30 pounds of blueberries that lasted all winter and enough strawberries to make freezer jam for a year.

5. Buy soups and broths in TetraPaks. You can find a great variety of soups and broths in TetraPaks from brands like Pacific Foods, Imagine Foods, and Trader Joe’s.

6. Buy frozen. Frozen may not be quite as good as fresh, but it’s a better choice than canned. Frozen, organic fruits and veggies are not that more expensive than conventional choices and they are much healthier and contain less pesticides.

What other kinds of canned foods do you buy and can you find an alternative?


Glass Baby Bottles

file_1_15Three plus years ago, when my daughter was born, bisphenol-A (BPA) didn’t have quite the notoriety it does now.  I used plastic bottles then and you can bet they had BPA in them.  Flash forward several years and BPA has been removed from most plastic bottles.   In addition, many of the bottle manufacturers have come out with glass bottles.

il_430xN_111533497In the last year, we switched from using plastic to using glass in as many areas as we can and bottles was one of them.  I was a little wary of using glass for the baby bottles, but for the last 8 weeks, we’ve used them with great success.  One of the best things about using glass is that I feel safe warming the milk or water in the bottle directly as I don’t put any plastic in the microwave. 

You don’t have to worry about breakage – I dropped a bottle on my hard wood floors and it practically bounced.  No breaking, no cracks.  Once our son can hold the bottle himself, I will use a “bottle cozy”, a cover for the bottle that will be just one more layer of protection against breakage.   I have a silicon bottle “cozy” but you can find other bottle covers like this pink damask cloth cover from CoozyCo’s etsy shop or if you’re crafty, you can crochet bottle covers.