#BPA Free: What’s the Correlation Between Organic and BPA Free Canned Food?

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.

White can linings are likely to have Bisphenol-A, a resin that has been linked to numerous illnesses.

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 a 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.

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 Safe levels are outdated and inconclusive.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)
  • Annie’s
  • Earth’s Best Organic
  • Imagine

Download and print a free BPA Free Canned Food Pocket Guide from BPA Free Canned Good blog.

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.

FDA Considers #BPA Ban on Canned Foods Although Not Proven Harmful to Humans

Bisphenol-A, BPA, used in many plastic food containers as well as food and beverage can linings is being investigated for a possible ban. The FDA is working under a March 31, 2012 court ordered deadline asking for a petition to regulate the banning of BPA when used in food containers. BPA, when used in canned goods, extends the life of the food/beverage in the container, however, it has come under scrutiny about its safety for human consumption.

Currently, there is no other alternative for preserving canned food and beverages that has been tested and safe for human consumption. Although several larger research studies have found that “under normal consumer use” there are no harmful effects of BPA on humans, there have been some studies on animals where BPA has had some negative effects.

Read the entire article on Forbes.com.

Personally, I still do not trust the coatings in many canned foods, however, I do still rely on many canned items for sustenance. I haven’t had the opportunity to begin canning my own foods yet either, but as far as safety goes, this may be the year I start.

#BPA Free: Water and Funnel Affects the Quality of a Good Cup of Coffee

Looking for a BPA free coffee maker that makes a tasty cup of coffee? What kind of coffee maker are you using now? I switched from a 4 cup Mr. Coffee to a 12 cup recycled (garage sale item) steel percolator. Love the taste of the coffee, but according to Bunn, the water is a major contributing factor for taste.

Chlorine, well, or filtered water will all have an effect on the taste of your morning (or afternoon) cup of java.

What kind of funnel do you use in your coffee maker – plastic or stainless steel? This will also affect your coffee taste.

Always opt for a stainless steel funnel over a plastic one, unless you know it’s BPA free. Reduce the toxins you ingest through your coffee by choosing stainless steel. Check out Bunn’s selection of steel filters for your Bunn coffee pot.

 

FAQ: Is Tupperware BPA Free? Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2 part blog discussing frequently asked question about BPA free Tupperware plastic food containers.

Tupperware created a video discussing the harmful effects and government initiatives (in Canada and Britain, I believe). Watch this video and leave a comment on your thoughts about Tupperware’s sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Read FAQ: Is Tupperware BPA Free Part 1.

#BPA Free Leftovers: Glass Food Containers are Safer

Thanksgiving is over, but you probably still have plenty of leftovers to store or giveaway. Don’t run to your cupboards too quickly to store leftovers in those whipped topping and yogurt containers. Commercial food containers, especially those that contain dairy products are not good for reuse. Look at the bottom of the container and you are more likely to find a number 5 in the center of the triangle. Remember resin code 5 is not the safest plastic for storing food.

Some Rubbermaid and Tupperware plastic food containers are BPA free, but older versions are not. What’s the best way to store leftover food?

Glass.


Glass food storage containers (with or without plastic lids) do not contain BPA (bisphenol-A), and are the safest way to store, freeze and reheat leftovers whether it’s from a big feast like Thanksgiving or today’s dinner. Opt for various sized containers from 1/2 cup to 3 cups or more. Rubbermaid and Anchor Hocking both have various sized glass containers with several lid color choices. One year for Christmas I received 3 sets of small to medium sized round glass storage containers, and they are still good today for freezing, reheating and stacking too. I use them in my lunches and when we travel – they are not much heavier than the old plastic ones either!

The safest way to clean plastic lids for glass food storage is hand-washing, however, some package sets do state it’s safe to wash plastic lids in your dishwasher. Ensure you read whether the lid is BPA free or not, so you know if you can use the lid in your microwave.

 

BPA News: Plastic IS bad for your health

NorthJersey.com reports the dangers of BPA in plastic food containers.

Latest News Report States the Effects of BPA in Plastic Containers

I am not going to repeat what you and I already know about the dangers of BPA in plastic food containers, but this article from NorthJersey.com really pushes past the red line. I know I am giving all my readers the most reliable news about this dangerous, yet hidden toxin that lurks where we’d least expect it.

10 Facts About Bisphenol-A or BPA

Here are some basic facts about the harmful toxin, bisphenol-A or better known as BPA. Take heed and check all the plastic containers, bags and food containers you own, so you can safely get rid of these plastics expecially when used with food.

Does your water bottle contain BPA? Courtesy of Recycle This on Flickr.com

Here are some basic facts about the harmful toxin, bisphenol-A or better known as BPA. Take heed and check all the plastic containers, bags and food containers you own, so you can safely get rid of these plastics expecially when used with food.

1. Bisphenol A is found primarily in Polycarbonates, depicted by the Resin code 7.

2. Polycarbonates are used to produce disposable water bottles, lining tin food and beverage cans, baby feeding bottles and 5-gallon water bottles. And BPA is not only used with food containers but also CDs, DVDs, eyeglasses, bike helmets, shin guards, dinnerware, and hard plastic Nalgene water bottle. (Courtesy of PBS.org)

3. BPA can leach into your food if stored or heated at high temperatures such as your microwave, leaving a water bottle in your car when it’s warm outside, not using all the food or beverage from lined can, and anywhere else that heat is a factor.

4. BPA, which was first manufactured in 1891, and later developed as a plasticizer in the early 1960s. It was classified in 1963 as an indirect food additive and is listed among some 3,000 chemicals that are “generally regarded as safe.” (Food Renegade, Jan. 17, 2010).

5. The FDA announced in January 2010, that it since BPA has been classified as a “food additive” it cannot be regulated even though they recognize the adverse health problems.

6. The Centers for Disease Control said it found BPA in the urine of 95 percent of over 2,000 adults tested at random. (PBS.org)

7. Like plastic grocery bags in California, there has been a proposal in Congress to ban all uses of BPA in food containers especially those which would cause the greatest damage to babies’ health.

8. Avoid any food container that has the #7 or #3; instead, use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers NOT lined with plastics. (Food Renegade)

9. News update, from Switchboard, “California is the eighth state to ban BPA in children’s products, after Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Washington, Vermont, and New York.” Read the rest of the article as posted on July 2, 2010.

10. Be pro-active & write letters or emails to your Congress rep, governor, etc to ban the use of BPA in food products and packaging, especially those that children under 3 consume.

FAQ: Is Tupperware BPA Free? Part 1

Are your containers BPA free?

Several readers have inquired about Tupperware plastic food containers and whether they contain BPA or not as well as why Tupperware often does not have a resin code (1-7) on the bottom of its containers.

Do note that any plastic food containers that you own which have visible scratches, pitting or have melted as a result of heat in a microwave or dishwasher, should NOT be used to store or prepare food. As previously noted, you should either 1) throw them away or 2) use the containers for non food storage like in your garage or bathroom.

Are your Tupperware containers BPA free? Here’s what the Tupperware Website disclosed (BPA is used in polycarbonate production for plasticware):

  • Only 10 percent of Tupperware’s products are from polycarbonate (which also contains biphensol-a or BPA). The R & D group at Tupperware believe this is the sturdiest type of plastic for its customers, which resists high heat (like in a microwave).
  • Consumers are becoming more concerned about the health effects from cooking and preparing food in polycarbonate (non BPA free) plastic containers, so in March 2010 Tupperware began using other materials for children’s products in the US and Canada. *Note: If you have or use plastic containers to serve or prepare food, which were purchased prior to March 2010, it is recommended that you stop using these immediately due to the toxins contained in such products and the health risks involved especially in young children.**

Do you wonder if your Tupperware containers are BPA Free or not? Are you looking for that recognizable resin code on the bottom of your plastic container to determine whether it can be recycled? Yes, I have a few of those containers too. No recycling code, is this container safe for my family to use?

According to Tupperware, “because Tupperware® products contain a lifetime guarantee and were not originally intended for recycling, they were not labeled with recycle codes. Now that the code system and recycling practices have become more widely adopted internationally, Tupperware will begin to systematically place raw material codes (recycling codes) on all products.”

Tupperware has also provided a quick and easy guide to determine which products from the Spring/Summer 2010 catalog are BPA free.

What should you do with all those plastic cups, storage containers, and other plastic food containers? I strongly suggest you reuse them for other things, but not food to reduce and eliminate the risk of leaching toxins into your body in addition to your family. I use mine to store my loose change, hair ties, extra buttons and sewing kits, paperclips, rubberbands, hooks and nails, and the like. They work great in bathrooms, closets, garages, and under the sink – just don’t use them for storing food.

Keep you and family BPA free by following these helpful tips. What other products do you have questions about regarding the dangers of BPA? Ask them here, and I’ll investigate the answer for you.

**Read part 2 to view a video created by Tupperware about BPA. Very informative!

Are Rubbermaid Products BPA Free?

Learn more about which products are BPA free and ones that could be potentially harmful to your health. If you must use Rubbermaid plastic products, ensure they are BPA free.

Rubbermaid Comes Clean by Disclosing
Which Storage Containers are BPA Free

Several plastic food containers from Rubbermaid are BPA free like this Flex Seal canister.

According to Rubbermaid’s website, they are many products that are BPA free including the Flex Seal and Servin’ Saver series are 2 of many food containers that are BPA free. Other products that are BPA free include:

  • Premier (only the ones produced as of March 2010 are BPA free) check the bottom of the container for the BPA free symbol
  • Produce Saver
  • Lock Its
  • Take-a-longs
  • LockIts Canisters
  • Collapsibles
  • Round & Square Jars
  • Durable butter and cake keeper
  • Servin’ Saver
  • EZ tops
  • Basic containers

Other BPA free products are listed on their website, if you are not sure whether or not those Rubbermaid containers are leaching harmful toxins in your food.