Bisphenol A has been mentioned often in the past several years but I recently read an article with this topic in the headline and wanted to share it. Hopefully, with more people understanding what Bisphenol A (BPA) is, consumers can make informed choices when shopping for groceries. Together, we can get more companies to switch from using this toxic chemical in their products by calling them and ask if they are switching to BPA free products.
Bisphenol A is used to line the inside of cans (soup, sauces, canned fish, etc), polycarbonate bottles, and other types of food storage containers. It’s an endocrine disruptor affecting hormone levels in the body and has been linked with certain diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A 2011 study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicated that among the 4,000 adults studied those with diabetes had the highest urinary levels of BPA. This does not prove a cause/effect relationship but it’s interesting to see the type of research that is currently being conducted. In animal research, BPA promotes inflammation throughout the body and affects hormone levels leading to weight gain, which can lead to chronic diseases over-time.
Another study from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at two groups consuming either canned vegetable soup or fresh vegetable soup for five days. The canned soup group had a 1200 % increase in urinary BPA levels. I was shocked at how high this percentage was. This was just one serving a day…what about other bottles, drinks, or foods with this chemical?
To reduce your risk of BPA exposure, avoid polycarbonate containers (which may have a #7 or PC as a recycling code) and heating foods in plastic containers, as this can leach out the chemical. In addition, store food in glass containers, purchase fresh or frozen vegetables, and avoid the water cooler at work (it may be made of BPA polycarbonate). Acidic foods, products that contain citric acid, soda beverages, along with canned alcoholic beverages should also be avoided (alcohol exacerbates the leaching out of BPA).
Certain companies are moving to remove BPA from their products. Eden organics does not use BPA in their canned beans, Muir Glen is moving toward glass bottles for their tomato sauces, Native Forest does not use BPA lining in their coconut milk, along with Oregon’s Choice Gourmet and Wild Planet’s canned tuna and sardines.
For more information on BPA, you can read the report from the Environmental Working Group.