Just when I thought I had gotten ahead in the game by dumping all of the hard plastic BPA water bottles and food storage containers from my house, the Breast Cancer Fund released a study last week showing that when families took BPA out of their diets by eliminating canned foods and using BPA-free food containers, they decreased the amount of BPA in their bodies by 60 percent!
Canned foods make up a significant portion of the American diet, yet most people don't know that most of those cans—and the foods in them—contain the estrogenic chemical BPA. So apparently when I open that can of beans or soup, I'm also giving myself a hearty dose of a toxic chemical? How was I to know? Unless my alphabet soup spells out "BPA" in the bowl, there's no clear indication for shoppers if a can contains BPA or not.
Asking consumers to completely dump the canned foods from their diet is a lofty goal that's unrealistic for many. Canned foods are cheap and sometimes, in communities where fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t easily accessible or affordable, the only option for people.
I'm lucky enough to be able to choose BPA-free, but I'm also tired of being asked to shop my way out of this massive problem of toxins in my products. Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of corporations to make products that are safe for their customers?
I think so and that’s why I joined thousands of others in taking action to ask the three largest canned food companies, Cambell Soup Company, Del Monte Foods and General Mills (maker of Progresso, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen) what they're doing to get BPA out of their food packaging and out of our bodies. And if they're phasing out BPA, what non-toxic alternative are they replacing it with?
As consumers we have to be confident that the alternatives these companies are using to BPA are adequately tested for safety. Haven’t we already learned our lesson enough times about regrettable substitutions? It’s time for consumers to demand that we have a right to know what is in our food. Just like the calories, fat and sugar content of my food, I want to know if there are toxic chemicals lurking in each bite.
Let's make the message loud and clear to these companies: please hold the toxic BPA.