Monday, April 25, 2011
BPA from canned foods
Scientists from the Breast Cancer Fund recently published a study that showed that eliminating processed foods significantly lowers BPA exposure. BPA is a toxic industrial chemical used to harden plastic. It is commonly used in plastic food and beverage containers, lids of glass jars, epoxy lining in metal cans and dental sealants. Research has shown that BPA leaches out of the plastic and into food and can be harmful even at low doses. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have linked BPA to health and development problems, including birth defects, breast and prostate cancer, early puberty, infertility, obesity, chromosome and reproductive abnormalities, diabetes, heart disease and neurobehavioral problems. (Read more here.)
So, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, here are some tips for reducing BPA in your diet:
- Switch to stainless steel and glass food storage and beverage containers.
- Move foods to ceramic or glass food containers for microwaving.
- Consider a French press for coffee – home coffee makers may have polycarbonate-based water tanks and phthalate-based tubing.
- Eat out less, especially at restaurants that do not use fresh ingredients.
- Limit canned food consumption.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables when possible, and frozen if not.
- Soak dried beans for cooking (you can make extra and freeze them).
So -- as I read this, I'm thinking I've already done most of these . . . but then they have a list of the canned foods to especially avoid -- the ones high in sodium, fat, and acid - - - which pretty much covers all canned foods. Recently, I've been consciously working toward eliminating canned foods . . . for me, that means beans, tomatoes, and coconut milk. In fact, today I have a big batch of white beans in my slow cooker that I will use some of for dinner and freeze the rest (in glass containers, not plastic). Here's how--in case you're interested.
Soak 2 cups beans overnight in a lot of water. Drain the beans. Place in slow cooker with 8 cups water. Add a strip of kombu (sea vegetable) if desired--helps to soften beans and reduce gas effects. Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours. Makes about 6 cups beans.