|Did You Know?
According to reports published by the FDA, 17.6% of the American diet comprises canned food.
Canned foods are convenient, simply because they're ready to use, with no washing, peeling, etc., required. However, the downside is that they have a component of polycarbonate plastic called bisphenol A. This estrogen-like chemical is present in the epoxy resin lining of tin cans, which is used to prevent bacterial growth in canned foods. However, this chemical leaches into the food and then enters our bodies.
Various laboratory studies have linked exposure to bisphenol A to breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, and a plethora of other diseases like diabetes, obesity, etc. This means your canned soups, juices, beans, cranberry sauce, tuna, etc., aren't actually healthy. The red flag raised hasn't quite managed to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban it from canned foods, which is why it is important for us to be on the lookout for the same. Consumer pressure and moral obligation have caused certain food brands to voluntarily do away with the chemical.
Canned Food Brands without BPA
With so many canned food brands out there, which are the ones that offer products in BPA-free can linings? Let's take a look.
EDEN FOODS (BPA free since 1999) has been the first brand to offer BPA-free canned beans. They replaced their bisphenol A containing can linings with an oleoresinous c-enamel to deliver BPA-free canned products. So, if you want to stock up your kitchen cabinets with canned beans for all those busy days, make sure you purchase EDEN ORGANIC KIDNEY BEANS. Besides their kidney beans, their rice and bean combos, and chillis are also available in BPA-free linings. However, their canned tomatoes are still packaged in linings with BPA. Tomatoes are highly acidic in nature, thereby, causing the tin to rust, which is why they are still canned in cans with BPA-containing linings.
|Note: EDEN FOODS offers crushed tomatoes in amber glass jars, which can be a good alternative to buying canned tomatoes with BPA-lined cans. They have metal lids, but the amount of BPA leaching into the tomatoes will be lesser than that in the canned version.|
TRADER JOE's is a company that believes in modesty! Their canned corn, beans, pumpkins, fruits, meat products, fish (except oysters, clams, crabs, sardines, and albacore tuna), and even canned tomatoes are all packaged in BPA-free cans. However, you won't find the proclamation on their labels, which can make it quite confusing. Even their website makes no specific mentions. Their canned soups, stews, baked beans, mandarins, chillies, etc., are still packaged in cans with BPA-lined cans. So, with no specific BPA labelings, choosing a TRADER JOE's product can be difficult. Sometimes, too much modesty isn't a good thing, especially when it comes to food safety.
Note: TRADER JOE's LIGHT COCONUT MILK is also free of BPA. So, if you're planning to make a healthier version of Piña Colada this summer, purchase this brand!
Bionaturae, touted as Italy's premier line of organic foods, offers a whole range of products from pastas to olive oils to tomato-based products. Their crushed, diced, and whole-peeled canned tomatoes have been packaged in BPA-free cans, making them safe for consumption. These products are clearly labeled as BPA-free, and a quick look at their website will also verify this for you. Bionaturae's tomato products are known for their superior flavor as well. So, if you're looking to purchase canned tomatoes, this is definitely the brand to opt for.
This California-based company is known for its sardines that have been 'sustainably caught' along the Californian coast. Besides being low in mercury content, their sardines are also packed in BPA-free cans. A quick visit to their online store will confirm their BPA-free seafood products.
|Note: Wild Planet's canned salmon, tuna, or shrimp products are free of BPA.|
A brand of Edward & Sons, NATIVE FOREST is the first food brand to offer the canned version of Hearts of Palm. Their canned fruits like pineapple, peaches, mandarin, mango, and tropical fruit salad, etc., are packaged in BPA-free cans. Moreover, their smooth and creamy coconut milk cans are also BPA-free. Their baby corn, bamboo shoots, Hearts of Palm, asparagus, etc., are also packed in BPA-free cans. Again, their labels do not indicate so; hence, it can get confusing.
|Note: NATIVE FOREST's mushrooms do not come in BPA-free cans. So, be careful what you pick up!|
Harvester and marketer of Alaskan seafood, Trident SEAFOODS tout some of the finest seafood products available. According to the information obtained from the company's website, no BPA has ever been used in their can linings, making their products naturally free of BPA. Their Alaskan salmon, albacore tuna, sockeye salmon, and other canned fish products are deemed free of BPA. Again, you won't find a BPA-free label on their products.
As per the company's website, from March 1, 2012 onwards, Amy's has moved on to using BPA-free can linings to package their products. This includes their whole range of canned soups sold under its brand umbrella. However, random tests do indicate low levels of BPA in its food products, which according to the company is attributed to BPA from sources other than its lining. The company is still working on this issue.
This food brand touts some of the freshest and superior-tasting canned fruits and vegetables available in the market. They confidently state that all of their products, including canned pumpkin products, canned butternut squash products, etc., are packaged in BPA-free cans. They also have 'BPA Free' printed on their labels, making it easier for consumers.
HENRY & LISA'S NATURAL SEAFOOD
Frozen within hours of harvesting, their seafood products are touted to be of premium quality. From the wide array of seafood products they have to offer, their Solid White Albacore Tuna is packaged in BPA-free cans. Since the tuna canned is of smaller size, it has less mercury contamination. Moreover, it also has no added salt, making it a healthier choice to consume. Their Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon also comes in BPA-free cans. This information is available on the company's website.
The status of many food products may change with time. Since many food brands fail to clearly mention if their food products are BPA-free or not, deciding upon a canned food brand can be difficult. Stick to the ones that clearly state that they are free of BPA. If you really want to know, contact the company directly for first-hand information. The best way to ensure minimal BPA exposure is by consuming more of fresh beans, sauces, soups, etc. Avoid canned food, and opt for that which is stored in glass bottles, cartons, etc.