You’ve probably heard about this BPA thing that keeps coming up in the news. If you haven’t, let me briefly explain. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, and is commonly found in food and drink containers such as: the liners of canned goods* (including baby formula), liners of some aluminum drink containers, most plastic bottles marked#7 **, and many baby bottles.
The problem with BPA is that a reasonable amount of scientific research has shown that, once in your body, it acts as an endocrine disruptor (in simple terms, your body thinks it is a hormone). This misunderstanding can potentially cause a lot of problems (especially in young children, who are the most vulnerable) like feminizing males, and bringing on puberty and menopause too early in females. It can also potentially cause neurological disorders and even some forms of cancer. Here is a link to an article from the Environmental Working Group that goes more in depth than I care to.
Now for the original purpose of this blog, here are some simple solutions to help you and your family minimize your BPA intake.
1- Avoid canned foods (especially pastas and soups that seem to leach the highest levels of BPA due to high acid content, and infant food and formula because its just not worth the risk) whenever possible (try a fresh alternative; or in the case of formula, powdered might be a better option).
2-If buying canned goods, try BPA-free alternatives (like beans
from Eden Foods ; organic coconut milk, mango chunks, papaya chunks, tropical fruit salad, and most pineapple items from Native Forest; and tuna from Vital Choice or Ecofish).
3- Invest in reusable stainless steel water bottles***(we suggest Kleen Kanteen).
4- If you use a baby bottle, try one of many BPA-free versions now avaliable (please do your research though…even if the bottle says BPA-Free). Thinkbaby (locally Austin) is a good brand, along with some glass alternatives.
And please, don’t get overwhelmed. Just try to stay informed, and act accordingly whenever possible.
*Canned food liners seem to leach the most BPA (far more than hard plastic, which most importantly should be avoided to heat liquids in or to put in the dishwasher). Most pre packaged glass food and drink containers do contain a small amount of BPA in the underneath lining of the lid, but relatively speaking these are still good options (especially when compared to cans).
**Plastics #1,2,and 4 do not contain BPA and are considered safer (though Pyrex or glass containers are even better choices for food storage).