BPA in cans is an invisible hidden health danger.
The common chemical BPA has had a huge amount of media focus recently, and deservedly so! Also known as bisphenol-A , BPA has been implicated in numerous studies as a health hazard.
The trouble with it is, it's just about everywhere. Let's talk more about exactly what BPA is, what the issues are, and how to avoid it in our foods.
Find out how you can avoid BPA in canned food and why BPA free alternatives may not be the answer.
BPA is a petroleum derived product, which is created using manmade chemical reactions, starting with benzene as a basic building block. BPA is found in many household items. The biggest concerns surrounding BPA is when it is in contact with food or drink, and expecially when it is heated.
BPA is used to create the liners in food cans. It does a good job of protecting the food from contact with corrosive contact with the metal the can is made of.
You have probably seen BPA in cans yourself, as the majority of canned food in grocery stores have these liners. It's the white or clear plastic film that you can see inside the wall of the can.
While it looks harmless enough, extended contact with the liner causes the BPA to leech into the food in the can.
Why is this cause for concern?
It's because bisphenol A is what is called an "estrogen mimic".
When our bodies come in contact with it they do not recognize it as the dangerous foreign chemical that it is. The result is a highly reactive unnatural harmful compound that our body "thinks" is allowed it to enter the body without any defensive reaction.
This chemical has been demonstrated to cause various types of cancer, and to contribute to heart disease, and reproductive disorders.
It also, because of it's estrogen like properties, influences early onset of puberty in girls and feminization in boys.
BPA is chemically very similar to Diethylstilbesterol or DES, the infamous compound, once thought to be safe that causes reproductive cancer in women.
Currently, your best option may very well be to avoid canned foods altogether.
While some companies are experimenting with BPA free cans, many times the replacement liners are made using chemicals which while not BPA are actually very similar chemically, and which will possibly be found to be just as dangerous with time.
As recently as 2010 BPA was not officially considered a health risk in spite of many studies implicating it as a dangerous substance. In fact it was not until January of 2010 that the FDA reversed it's position on this chemical and acknowledged it's risks.
Meanwhile, people have become exposed to it through BPA in cans, plastic soda bottles, baby bottles, water bottles and many other hidden sources where our food can come in contact with this chemical.
It is understandable that we may feel at times that nothing is safe. Every day it seems that there is a news flash about the harmful effects of some chemical, food, activity or product that we assumed was perfectly safe.
Then there are the situations where the recommended alternative is found many years later to actually be more dangerous than the product it was replacing. Think butter and margarine!
However, estrogen mimicking chemicals have a longstanding proven history of increasing certain cancer risks and impacting fertility and puberty.
Most everyone would agree nowadays that you should avoid BPA in cans and any other place where it could contact your food or drinks.
However , you should also exercise caution in quickly adopting the next "safe" BPA free replacement. They are often not fully tested to the extent that would make them any safer in food use than whart they are replacing.
Find out more about the science of BPA health risks.
Happy healthy eating! :)
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