Take a moment to think about what canned foods you use. If none, then lucky you. But the truth is most of us use some type of canned food at one point or the other. Well Tony Iallonardo, the director of Safer Chemical Healthier Families got some worrying revelation after corroborating with six health non profit organizations on the dangers of the chemical components used in 2/3 of our cans.
Below is his summary:
‘True to my Italian-American roots, I consume a lot canned tomatoes, particularly in marinara, but I also like to make soups using canned stock as a base. After working with a coalition of six health non-profits to release a new report, I’m rethinking some of my favorite meals.
Modern canned foods have a chemical-based lining that is effective in reducing canned food being tainted with botulism. That’s good. But what those canned food makers use to make those linings is often not disclosed, and it may be toxic to our health. One chemical has been especially problematic in food products. It’s called Bisphenol A (BPA).
What is BPA?
You may have heard of BPA. Around four or five years ago the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the chemical from being used in baby bottles and sippy cups. The BPA can migrate from can food linings into the food itself, where people then consume it and get exposed. The FDA cited strong evidence that BPA can effect hormone activity in people, and exposure has been linked to developmental problems in children, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and much more. As a result, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition has put BPA on its list of Hazardous 100+ chemicals. So let’s just say it’s something you should avoid.
And here’s the rub. The new report tested almost 200 food cans from around the U.S., various types of food, retailers, and manufacturers that are household names like Campbell’s and Del Monte. We found BPA is common. It’s everywhere. Two-thirds of cans we tested had it. And it’s often not disclosed.
A Little More Bad News
Unfortunately, there’s some more troubling findings from the tests. Many of the other cans that didn’t have BPA contained other chemicals that are also problematic. Many of those other cans had acrylic resins that contain styrene, a chemical linked to cancer, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic made with hazardous chemicals like the known human carcinogen vinyl chloride. The phrase the health groups use to describe this is “regrettable substitution,” meaning manufacturers swap out a toxic chemical, but then use another problem chemical in its place.
Making Safer Choices
The first thing to do is inform yourself. You can check out the report and results. When in doubt, avoid canned food if you can substitute with fresh food, or food packaged in jars and safer materials. There’s also safer cans!