Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BPA is in our canning lids - very sad

Organic Gardening magazine kindly sent me a free issue last week. Secretly, I pretended that it was a reward for all my fan-tab-u-lous blogging, but let's be real. I'd been enjoying the articles and lovely photos for the past couple of days. Then...WHAM! I get hit with this info:

"Canning jar lids from the brands Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, and Bernandin are coated with bisphenol-A (BPA) - an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics and the epoxy resins that line many food containers. BPA is an estrogenic chemical - meaning it can mimic the hormone estrogen - and a wide body of research links it to an increased risk for reproductive and developmental problems, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes."

Right after I read this passage, my husband walked into the room and he could see that I was upset. I told him why. Then he asked, "What are you going to do?"
Hmm...I thought about the answer to that question. I had several options:
1) Throw out all of my jars of carefully preserved vegetables and fruits. (This seems a bit harsh, especially when I face the fact that all of the food that I have eaten from jars for my whole life has potentially been contaminated with BPA.)
2) Buy new German jars that have glass lids and rubber sealing parts. (Likely expensive. And what will I do with all those old jars?)
3) Write a letter to Ball, Kerr, and anybody else who's address I can find.
4) Pretend I didn't read that page and try to forget. (Ignorance is bliss, I tell ya!)

In the end, I think I've decided to go ahead and use up the goodies I've preserved and look into the German jars for the future. Surely a non-food use for the old jars will pop up. The German Weck glass jars are pretty, but pricey - $15 for six 1/4L jars. In the meantime, I'm going to write a letter to the American lid manufacturers and beg them not to use BPA.


Town Mouse said...

Interestingly, this chemical is coating all cans. So imagine eating canned beans? Boiled in the can? At least you didn't have the food touch the cans much.

I've switched to using a pressure cooker (beans) or by fresh (tomatoes) or frozen. I no longer buy cans. It's just a disgrace this is allowed to continue.

Randy Emmitt said...

I agree with TownMouse these corporations only think about profits. Perhaps if they see all their business going to German companies they'll change their ways.

We rarely eat canned foods, mainly because we like fresher food.

Stefaneener said...

I had just heard about this and must confess part of me went, "Wheeee! Weck jars for me!!"

The other part thought, "It's about time we outlawed BPA like the rest of the world." I'm going to eat my food happily and assume that I'll be healthy enough from all the rest of the stuff to fight it off.

Who knows what will happen. Letters are probably a good idea.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thank you for telling us, Jackie! It's awful.

Chiot's Run said...

I've been buying a few Weck jars every year for this very purpose. I also like having glass lids.

I purchase lids from a small Amish place locally that have no white coating, I'm assuming they' don't contain BPA.

I think if we all starting writing BAll telling them we'd like a BPA free lid or perhaps some glass lidded jars they might listen if enough people write.

I wouldn't go as far as throwing out all your preserved items, they likely do not contain much BPA since not much if any of the food touches the lid. Since they're actually canned in glass jars and not in jars lined in BPA home they probably don't absorb much if any (probably only what touches the lid) I never scrape off and use what it on the lid anyways.

Chiot's Run said...

You could also use Bormioli Rocco “Fido” Canning Jars


You could also check to see if
Leifheit of Bormioli "Quattro Stagioni" lids contain PBA, they're more expensive, but if they don't have BPA, well worth it!

Daphne said...

Sigh. I'm not really surprised though. I wrote Whole Foods a while back and complaining they hadn't taken the BPA out of their can liners. You would think a company that touts organic healthy food would make the change. I guess it is time to write to Ball and complain to them.

Alan said...

Just when you think you are doing a good thing for your family - canning your own food w/o all the crap you find out that the lids are going to kill you. Might as well be buying the industrial crap from WalMart. At least they have enough preservatives to keep us looking marvelous for ever.

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Two Sisters Sewing said...

Thanks, everyone for your comments. I hate to be the "bearer of bad news", but it looks like some of you already knew about this. I'll have to check out those "Fido" jars, as well.