What’s Lurking In Your Canned Goods?

According to consumer reports, canned goods may contain harmful chemicals that could cause adverse health issues such as reproductive abnormalities and heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Sources say the harmful chemical is in the lining of the can and contains an industrial chemical called Bisphenol A, also known as BPA.

Reports from the FDA indicate that BPA has been present in hard plastic bottles, canned foods and canned sodas since the 1960′s.  Some organic labels of canned foods are also guilty of containing traces of BPA.  The FDA is aware of this concern, and are currently debating whether or not this is safe for our food supply.  An organization dedicated to BPA suggest that there is no known risk from human consumption.  Simply put, any harmful effects that may occur from BPA are seen later in life, so it is hard to say if this chemical poses harmful effects.  However, with the vast increase in cancers, many wonder if it is something in our food supply that’s the culprit.  There is also some debate regarding whether BPA leaches out of plastics (especially from heat exposure) and how much BPA is considered too much.

So What is a Safe Level of BPA?

An FDA report suggest that a safe exposure of BPA is 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.  However, any testing that has been done for BPA has been done on rodents, not humans.  Tests have concluded that when BPA is in the bloodstream, it tends to mimic estrogen.  For girls, this means earlier puberty, and for boys this can lead to infertility problems.  According to a test conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)  who targeted and tested the BPA lining in canned goods and drink cans, the tests found:

  • Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of the highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that causes serious adverse effects in animal tests.
  • For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals.  The government typically mandates a 1,000-3,000-fold margin of safety between human exposures and levels found to harm lab animals, but these servings contained levels of BPA less than 5 times lower than doses that harmed lab animals.

Common sense tells us that the best way to prevent exposure to BPA is to limit or stear clear from canned goods, foods in hard plastics and canned sodas.  Eating fresh foods, or frozen foods would be a healthier approach.  This is easier said than done considering most of our food comes pre-packaged in cans or plastic containers.  Perhaps now would be a good time to consider growing a vegetable garden.

It must be stated that the FDA is supporting reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA, including actions by industry and recommendations to consumers on food preparation.  At this time, the FDA is not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk of BPA exposure.  it’s nice to see the FDA looking out for our best interests.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 13th, 2011
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  • GA Girl

    What are we supposed to eat?  Nothing is healthy anymore.  Now gardeneners have to think about radiation.  Plastic bottles are bad.  Frozen food could go bad in a power outage.  Fruits and veggie have pesticides. Chocolate is the only alternative.

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      @ GA Girl-

      Thank God for chocolate! As much of a fan as I am of chocolate, I don’t think I would want to eat it 24/7. :) Instead of buying canned foods, you can invest in glass jars and start canning your own food supply. Can your own broth, soups, meat, juices, cream cheese and some even can butter! Just a thought….

  • http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

    Glass is definitely the safest way to go right now. And you can never really know what is in your food unless you made it yourself. Here in Germany you can get most veggies in glass jars (aside from the lid of course) although they are often more expensive. It’s a crazy world we’re living in!

  • Mrs. J

    Look into reusable Tattler lids. BPA free. :) That is what I will be canning with this year, I’ve done a few sample jars to try them out (about 3 dozen jars) and I like them a lot!

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