Bisphenol-A aka BPA is a synthetic hormone (a component of epoxy resin – eww! reminds me of glue) found in many food-grade plastics, canned goods, and paper (like bank receipts), which has been linked to illnesses such as cancer, developmental disabilities, heart disease, and more. Several studies have been conducted to determine levels in our bodies and conclusive evidence suggests that almost all people surveyed had some level of BPA in their system.
But what does the U. S. government consider a “safe level“? And how do we know what our level is?
From touching your ATM bank receipt to drinking from plastic water bottles and eating canned goods, you are exposing you and your family to this toxic chemical. Canned goods with a white lining or resin code 7 (inside the triangle) are suspect to BPA.
After reading more about BPA lined canned goods, I wondered if there is a correlation between government labeled “organic” brands and BPA free canned goods.
Some of my research findings below:
1. Don’t judge or trust a can by its label! Even though canned food states it’s “BPA free” it is not always true – even organic brands.
2. Type of canned food, not always brand specific, contain inner linings with BPA. An organic or non-organic brand produces several types of food products, but only selected canned food products may or may not contain the toxic chemical, and you should be more careful especially if you are breastfeeding.
3. Safe levels are outdated and inconclusive. One study in 2008 suggested that “0.0024 micrograms per kilogram of body weight” was a safe level for humans (study was done on lab animals), but that study’s results were tossed with the wind in 2009 since it probably contained skewed data from the plastics industry. (Concern over canned foods, Consumer Reports, 2009.)
4. Highest levels of BPA (parts per billion – ppb) were found in green beans and soup according to a Consumer Reports study. And Con-Agra (not by far organic!) was the worst offender for BPA levels.
5. Some, not all, organic brands use BPA free metal cans. Some brands include
- Eden Foods (BPA free since 1997)
- Muir Glen tomatoes
- Amy’s (since 2012)
- Some Trader Joe products
- Whole Foods 365 canned goods (only 27% are BPA free)
- Farmer’s Market Foods (canned pumpkin, pie fillings)
- Earth’s Best Organic
Alternatives to canned foods are fresh, frozen or dried varieties. Although plastic packaging for frozen foods are not always BPA free, the levels are likely much lower than those found in metal cans. Plastic containers that are “safe for the microwave use” likely have higher levels of BPA as well.
Best bet? Buy fresh and can food yourself in BPA free glass jars or freeze for future use. DO NOT heat reusable plastic food containers or those plastic microwave meals! You are more likely to get a higher dose of BPA in your food than using glass containers. And remove those plastic lids from glass containers before reheating too!
Did I miss a brand or health issue related to BPA? Please comment below, I’m always looking for more insight.