Hundreds of studies have linked BPA to serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, and a number of reproductive issues. With 2 billion pounds of BPA produced annually in the US, it’s no wonder that 93% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies.
So with BPA making a cameo appearance in nearly every canned good on the market (including organic canned foods for kids), what is a responsible grocery shopper to do? Stop buying cans all together? Completely cutting canned goods out of your grocery shopping might not be possible. And that's okay! Instead of worrying about getting rid of everything, lets edit out the worst canned goods and find economical solutions for replacing them. Here are the top six tips for taking BPA off your grocery list:
Beans and Chickpeas: Skipping canned beans and chickpeas originally seemed impossible to me. Turns out, soaking, and cooking, your own beans and chickpeas is not only the best BPA free option, but it’s also cheap, easy, and boosts the flavor of the legumes. Soak chickpeas and beans overnight or use this quick soak method from Bon Appetit. Soaking makes the beans cook easily and quickly once you're ready to boil them.
Brands that don’t use BPA: Good news: They do exist! Bad news: There aren’t that many of them. Eden Organics has been using BPA-free liners on their cans since 1999. All of their cans except for their canned tomatoes are BPA-free. Vital Choice, Oregon’s Choice, Wild Planet, and Eco Fish all offer some BPA free canned fish, including tuna, salmon, and sardines. This blog from TreeHugger outlines all of your BPA-free canned food options.
Top 10 foods not to get canned: If you’re going to buy canned food, as with most things, some cans are worse than others. The Breast Cancer Fund has a handy, wallet sized tip sheet that shows you the top 10 canned foods to avoid.
Replace your soups: Parent Earth has several kid friendly soup recipes that can be whipped up for lunch or dinner. Invent your own simple soup by adding beans, veggies, and/or grains to boxed broth or easy homemade broth. If you do buy soup at the grocery store, try to buy boxed or jarred versions.
Skip the canned beverages: Health Canada found unhealthy levels of BPA in diet, non-diet, and fruit-flavored canned sodas, as well as energy drinks. Canned beer is even more dangerous because of the solubility of BPA in alcohol. Find out more about sneaky sources, of BPA on Healthy Child, Healthy World.
Say no to receipts: Sometimes, you need a receipt. Maybe it’s a big ticket item, maybe you’re on a strict budget: You know when a receipt is necessary. But when you can avoid receipts, you should. Most receipts are coated in a powder that contains BPA, which you can absorb through your hands. Avoid receipts when possible, wash your hands frequently, and don’t commit the all too easy toxic faux pas of letting receipts build up in your wallet or at the bottom of your purse.