BPA: Should I Care?

Posted in Organic Living on November 5th, 2009 by Jessica | 27 comments
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I never really gave much thought to all the hype about BPA when it came out a few years back. This was mostly because my son was done with bottles by that time and when I needed to get bottles for my daughter almost everything was BPA free or at least claimed to be relatively free. I never thought I would have to worry about the food that I was eating until I read a recent article that I found here. (thanks for Detroit Moms for posting the link) It talks about a recent report that lists the levels of BPA in some very popular can goods. The worst culprit is Del Monte Green beans, Cambell’s condensed Chicken Noodle Soup, and Progresso Soups. (For the complete report that is available online go here. )

I’m not typically one who gives into all the hype about the latest thing that is found however,I am paying more attention to try to limit the amount of chemicals that my family ingests because we are trying to live a more organic lifestyle. I did want to find out a little more about why BPA is getting so much attention. I found an article at the Nutrition Action website that does a pretty good job explaining why we need to pay attention to this particular chemical that is found in everything from aluminum can linings to automobiles. The article details the National Institute of Health’s findings that explains that the continued exposure to BPA has led to cancer and reproductive organ deformities in lab animals specifically breast cancer and prostate cancer. According to the FDA there is no need to panic and what we are exposed to is not anything to be concerned with overall. We do have to take this statement with a grain of salt though because their findings are based on testing that was done in the early to mid 80’s and a lot more research has been done since then.

I know that overall it would be impossible to completely limit my family’s exposure to chemicals and with regards to BPA most people are just taking a better safe than sorry approach. I find myself wondering however if the fact that girls and boys are hitting puberty at a younger and younger age every generations isn’t because of some of the chemicals that we have exposed ourselves to during the course of our lives. I also worry about those families that may have a history of breast or prostate cancer and what effect BPA has on their chances of actually presenting with the disease. There is a whole branch of my children’s family history that is unknown to me so I think that I’d much rather play it safe.

So What Can I Do?

  • Limit the amount of canned groceries you are buying for your family. Look for items in paper or glass containers. Even juice in plastic containers is better because heating the plastic is what puts you most at risk.

  • Use glass and ceramic dishes to reheat or cook items in your microwave. I found a good starter set of pyrex glass storage bowls here.

  • Try canning your own produce or blanch and freeze your veggies this year. I will be doing both this coming summer and plan on sharing with you my successes and failures.

I think in the end even if the amount of BPA we are exposed to turns out to be harmless this issue has made me more aware of what I’m putting into my family’s mouthes.

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