BPA, Babies, Bum-outs, and… Tomato Sauce?

tomatoes

Just recently I was having a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law and the subject of BPA came up (Bisphenol A). We were discussing it since I am about to be an uncle for the third time : ) and they are making sure to get BPA free bottles and containers, etc.

Bisphenol A has been linked to abnormal reproductive development and shown to disrupt the hormonal system which can potentially lead to brain damage, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and the list goes on. My bro-in-law was saying how it is a very well known fact about baby products and BPA. Well. I am unmarried and male, so naturally I am not paying attention to baby stuff… except health articles that pop up. And such was the case.

The issue has become even more in the public eye the past year and the state of Minnesota banned the use of BPA in food containers intended for children 3 and younger.

Personally, I haven’t addressed this issue and I am going to. That is probably why I am writing this right now. But isn’t it strange how these types of things make us feel? Maybe it is just me, but it is kind of a bum out, you know? For example, one of the worst offenders of BPA leaching is from highly acidic foods… like tomatoes. While I do not eat canned foods because, first of all, I think they taste bad, but also they are more processed and fresh food is nutritionally superior, well, what I do buy is organic whole tomatoes and occasionally organic canned black beans (usually I buy most of my beans dried in bulk).

After so many years of doing something it is a bummer when you realize certain things. I realize that most people will not change unless they see their need. They will not think they need something until they find themselves in a desperate situation. We all are like that… we will not seek that which is good until we are faced with dire straits. Well I am changing because of previous dire straits and I learned my lesson. I learned that it is much easier to change when you are not in dire straits than when you are.

Sometimes many of the traditions that we grow up with or personal habits that we have accumulated are things that are not very healthy for us mentally or physically… and we are just ignorant of it. Then, when we are faced with a confrontation about it, our pride is hurt. The pride of it makes change all the more difficult. It’s like when I made the change from Teflon coated pans… ok, maybe not… that was pretty easy.

I grew up eating and making homemade tomato sauce. Oh. Bother. Tomato sauce is my problem.

There are good options available. I like how the president of Eden Foods has been proactive in their approach and they (at a higher cost) have BPA free cans for everything but their tomatoes. Also, you can look for glass jars, like Luccini, which happen to be very expensive : ). BUT, the best option is to make it fresh and also have some excellent tomatoes from the summer stored away for winter (frozen or jarred). Not too long ago, my sister gave me some fresh homegrown tomatoes that she had peeled and frozen and they made some of the best sauce I have had yet. They were bursting with flavor. Bursting I tell you. So I am going to experiment a little more with that and see what I can do. And as canned tomatoes seem to be my most formidable BPA opponent, they’re going down.

It seems rather easy to avoid the ills of processed food by eating fresh food and if processing needs to be done, do it yourself. Who woulda thunk it? But then again, who has the time, who has the time.

Some additional reading regarding the issue:
Tests Find WIDE Range of Bisphenol A in Canned Soups, Juice, and More
Drinking From Plastic Raises BPA Levels 70 percent
BPA in canned food awaits FDA decision

Tim is a health researcher and educator based out of Nashville, TN. Connect with him on Instagram @eattodaytolivetomorrow.

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