Why I’m Planning on Avoiding Canned Foods – (The Surprising Facts About Bisphenol-A)

I first learned about Bisphenol-A when I was pregnant for the first time and shopping around for the best bottles for my daughter.
What triggered my curiosity and concern was the huge, bold printed assertions slapped on every other baby product that there is “NO BPA!!!” in the bottle / binky / teething toy / whatever.
Clearly BPA in your childs mouth is a bad thing. And no BPA in your childs mouth is a good thing. Sooooo, what IS BPA anyway? And what’s the big deal?

About Bisphenol-A (aka, BPA)

Bisphenol A – more commonly known as BPA – is a chemical found in hard plastics. BPA is used to make countless products. I’m talking everything from dental fillings and sealants to DVDs and CDs to household electronic and sports equipment.
BPA is great!! It’s tough, it’s cheap, it’s uses are endless…. Buuuuuut, it’s not really great to, ya know… eat. Or drink. Or put in your body in any way.
BPA was never intended to be an edible chemical. When consumed, BPA behaves in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body.
What this means is that BPA is an endocrine disruptor – basically a substance that interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. When BPA imitates our body’s own hormones, it is hazardous for our health. A 2010 report from the FDA revealed that it’s especially dangerous for babies and young children, causing massive neurological damage (hence all the NO BPA!!! Stickers slapped all over childrens products).

Health Risks of Consuming BPA

According to Medical News Today, some of the health risks of consuming BPA are:
Reproductive Disorders – Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital showed that BPA exposure can affect egg maturation in humans. Additionally, Californian researchers found that exposure to bisphenol A may affect the quality of a woman’s eggs retrieved for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Male Impotence – Dr De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland, California, reported in the journal Human Reproduction that BPA exposure may raise the risk of erectile dysfunction. Sexual desire and problems with ejaculation were also linked to BPA exposure among men.
Heart Disease – BPA can cause heart disease, scientists at the University of Cincinnati found.
Type 2 Diabetes – A UK study linked higher levels of urinary BPA to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver-enzyme abnormalities.
Brain Function, Memory and Learning Disruption – US researchers linked BPA exposure to loss of connections between brain cells in primates, potential problems with memory and learning, as well as depression.
Breast Cancer – A Yale School of Medicine study found a possible increase in breast cancer risk among females exposed to BPA and DES (Diethylstilbestrol) in the womb.
Asthma – A US study suggested a link between increasing asthma rates and a particular threshold of BPA.
Neurological Disorders – A US study found an association between neurobehavioral problems in infants and high levels of BPA in their mothers.
Further, BPA is linked to ADHD, obesity, immune system harm, and many other ailments that are currently under scrutiny from medical associations worldwide.

Canned Foods are a Surprising Source of BPA

So avoid plastics with BPA in them, right? Problem solved, yeah? Not entirely. It turns out that BPA can also be found in epoxy resins which are used as coatings inside food cans and water bottles.
Further, studies have shown that BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty and fatty, (like coconut milk, tomatoes, soup, and vegetables). So is the average American experiencing massive levels of BPA exposure? Turns out, the answer is a resounding YES.

Want to hear something scary? A recent CDC report found BPA in the urine of 93% of adults.

A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that families who ate fresh food for three days with no canned food, and using only glass storage containers, experienced a 60% reduction of BPA in their urine. The reductions were even higher (75%) for those with the highest BPA levels at the beginning of the study.
If you want to reduce your exposure to BPA, you have to reduce your consumption of canned foods and bottled drinks as much as possible (unless it is specifically labeled BPA free, of course). This is what I’ve recently decided to do.. I’m going to try to go canned food free for the entire summer. (I’d say “forever”, but I figure setting myself some baby steps is key to success, haha.)
Further, it is recommended you not eat, drink or cook from anything made of plastic that doesn’t specify it’s BPA free. If tossing out all your plastic dishes isn’t an option (as a mum of a toddler who just loooooves to “help” with dishes, I can see how a whole house purge of plastics can be a problem), at the very least you should never microwave foods in plastic containers.
As usual, eating fruits and veggies fresh is best. But if you want to stock up the pantry for ready-to-cook meals, opt for foods that are frozen or stored in glass containers. NO CANS OR PLASTIC CONTAINERS. It’s as easy as that!

Did you know that BPA was found in canned foods? Think you’ll make a change in your diet to avoid these sources of BPA? Share below!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

57 thoughts on “Why I’m Planning on Avoiding Canned Foods – (The Surprising Facts About Bisphenol-A)

  • 3 April, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Great post! I think it’s super important to be educated on things like this. I personally never eat canned foods, so I’m not too worried about that but I constantly try to learn about a healthier lifestyle (having a sister who’s a year away from becoming a dietitian helps a lot haha)

    • 3 April, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Hahah, lucky you! If any of my relatives were dietitians, I’d be bothering them for advice and input ALL. THE. TIME. hehe.

  • 3 April, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    This is really good to know– though not surprising. Since when is it okay to eat 8 year old veggies sitting on a shelf?
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    • 3 April, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      LOL, right?!?! 😉

  • 3 April, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Great post my friend! I try to only buy BPA free canned food, I NEVER microwave food in plastic, and my reusable water bottles are BPA free. We stopped buying bottled water years ago because they’re so bad for the environment, but I remember reading that when a plastic water bottle heats up you end up drinking the toxins that are in the bottle. Very scary considering that we don’t know if the bottles were sitting in a hot delivery truck before we bought them.

    • 3 April, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      I am actually in the process of looking for some good brands that have BPA free cans. My biggest concerns is coconut milk, canned peas, canned green beans, canned tomatoes and canned chickpeas. These are quite literally the only things I buy canned, lol. Off to do some more research!! <3

      • 9 April, 2015 at 11:53 pm

        Native Forest coconut milk and Eden brand for tomatoes and beans. You’re welcome. 🙂

  • 3 April, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I stopped using canned food a long time ago, it does take more time to cook from scratch but I feel good about making something healthier for my family. This is a very informative post, will be bookmarking this for sure.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • 3 April, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      I’m glad you found it useful! <3

  • 3 April, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks God I don’t use canned foods that often and usually try to use glass containers, but my husband loves some canned drinks that may have BPA, now I need to check it asap!
    Thanks for sharing this, it’s very informative!


  • 3 April, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    The only canned food I ever bought were chickpea,and tomato. This is good to know. Thanks for sharing!

    • 3 April, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Yeah, I ONLY get my chickpeas canned.. now to research brands that offer BPA cans!!! <3

  • 3 April, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I never use canned tomatoes because they kept coming up on those lists of ‘things scientists would never eat’ for the exact reason you describe, the high acid content makes the chemicals in the liner of can leach. I didn’t really think of it when it came to other canned foods, but honestly I think cutting out canned foods is a great way to make yourself eat ‘cleaner’. I’m thinking of the things that I get in cans and the benefit of not buying those foods any more. I am totally going to make this change too! Thanks for the inspiration and the facts!

    • 3 April, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Yay! I’m glad I’m not alone in this “purge the kitchen of canned goods” journey! I know that some cans are made BPA free, I just need to research the brands that are, and then figure if it’s worth the extra effort to special order them. 😉

  • 3 April, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t consume canned food often as I heard they are unhealthy although I am not sure in what way exactly. Thanks for sharing your knowledge as now I am even more convince that I should avoid canned food!


    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:15 am

      You as well! Happy Easter!! <3 <3

  • 3 April, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Natural ingredients are always the best! very informative post, Gingi! thanks for sharing.

  • 3 April, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    This is a really helpful post! I usually avoid canned foods because I like making things from scratch, but now that I know this…I’m definitely determined to avoid them altogether! Thank you for sharing!

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:19 am

      I like to cook from scratch too, but I sometimes take shortcuts with canned diced tomatoes or veggies like corn.. but no more! I think the extra effort will pay off in quality and health!

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Yeah, I won’t be missing the flavor haha..

  • 4 April, 2015 at 6:02 am

    thanks for sharing such an informative post 🙂

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Awwwww, your comment made me smile!!

  • 4 April, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! I am trying to avoid canned food as much as possible as well. Apart from the health risks, the cans are also bad for the environment.

  • 4 April, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Don’t forget that there is BPA is almost all receipts. Some people even put the receipt in their grocery bag!

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:22 am

      LOL, I really hope this is in jest. 😉

  • 4 April, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Wow, great post! It really is so important to be educated on things like this. I am not a fan of the taste of canned foods and prefer cooking from scratch, but this is great “food for thought”.

  • 4 April, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Oh dear! I have so many plastic tubs that I prep food and meals in! Doom.

    Corinne x

  • 5 April, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Gingi… I wasn’t aware that BPA was in canned food, I don’t eat a lot of canned food as I am about eating natural and healthy … I will likely continue to eat the little bit that I do for the convenience as I know I will never can my own tomatoes due to costs and time constraints… But I will limit what we do eat from a can more…

    Happy Easter xox

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:26 am

      There are brands that don’t use BPA in their cans! You just have to dig around a bit to find them…

  • 5 April, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Informative post, thank you.
    I rarely use tinned food products – preferring to use whole real foods.

    But it is worrying when BPA is found in a variety of products, important to read labels closely.

    All the best Jan

  • 5 April, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I had never heard of BPA until I was shopping for baby bottles and pacifiers. And I’m glad you provided so much info. We can certainly eliminate it from our diets! (and our urine – yikes)

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Right?! That study just freaked me out!

  • 5 April, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Yes I knew already about BPA in cans, but it’s always good to be reminded. I don’t use all that much canned food, and I check that there’s no BPA in before I buy

    • 6 April, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to find good unprocessed foods these days.. I am pretty much living at the farmers market nowadays!

  • 6 April, 2015 at 1:48 am

    This is so interesting! I’ve always wondered what those stickers at the store meant. Thank you for this helpful info! I’m definitely going to cut down on my canned/stored in plastic food choices.


    • 6 April, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I’m glad you found it helpful!! Sometimes I post a blog post and think.. aaaaaand no one cares. Haha! 😉

  • 6 April, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Oh no! Can I unread this? I love me some canned goods……

  • 6 April, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I have been trying my best to do this for a long while now. I have written about it several times on my blog to make my readers aware of the possible risks. It is in a lot of things, unfortunately, even receipts we handle every day. Thanks for letting your readers know of the risks. Well-done!

    • 6 April, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Hey, share your links where you’ve written about it! I’d love to put them into the post!! <3

  • 6 April, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Love this post. I’ve always found canned foods disgustingly metallic. Will not eat them period.

    ~ xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

  • 11 April, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Very useful post…. Never thought about BPA in canned food…. 🙂

  • 11 April, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    this is interesting, my dad have told me once that it was bad to eat things from a cane if it fell on the floor because it made one of the chemicals in it to contaminate the food. that’s all I knew but reading this is better, i think we should avoid those type of food and eat natural instead.Thnks for sharing
    The Color Palette

  • 13 December, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I enjoy the way you have presented this great information.It makes me wonder why I had not thought of it before! Thanks for sharing

  • 24 June, 2016 at 3:19 am

    Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing…

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