Once I started researching BPA-free products, I learned that this s**t is far more pervasive than I'd previously thought! One major area of concern is the fact that almost all cans are lined with plastic that contains BPA, and there is also BPA in the lining of almost all jar lids, as well. While there is clearly a desperate need for Congressional action on this issue (so please sign my petition!), in the meantime, we can do our best to limit our exposure.
The best way to do that is to buy your beans dry (they're cheaper and better tasting) and make everything from scratch using fresh veggies. However, these more time-consuming options are not always realistic for most of us. So what do we have to work with?
Sadly, our BPA-free options are pretty darn limited at the moment. Hopefully, companies will start to realize that not only is removing toxic substances from their packaging the right thing to do but also a good way to make money since more and more people want BPA-free goods! But here is what is available right now.
Buy your beans from Eden Organics, the only company that currently does not use BPA in the lining of its canned beans or chilis. Here is what they have to say about their cans:
"All 33 Eden Organic Beans including Chili, Rice & Beans, Refried, and Flavored, are cooked in steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel that does not contain the endocrine disrupter chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA). Oleoresin is a non-toxic mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir. These cans cost 14% more than the industry standard cans that do contain BPA. The Ball Corporation tells us that Eden is the only U.S. food maker to date to use these BPA free cans and we have been since April 1999."
Unfortunately, there are currently no BPA-free canned tomatoes available because highly acidic foods like tomatoes apparently require super strong (highly toxic) linings. So even good ol' Eden Organics has been forced to continue using BPA in the linings of its canned tomato products.
However, Pomi uses Tetra Pak packaging for its tomato products and Tetra Pak does not include BPA. Pomi sells chopped and strained tomatoes as well as marinara sauce. Pomi's tomatoes are packaged in Italy so the carbon footprint of these tomatoes is gonna be pretty big. The Tetra Pak packaging also looks to be unrecyclable - two strikes against it in my opinion. I guess we get to pick our poison on this one -- planetary or personal...
Trader Joe's sells a Tetra Pak packaged tomato sauce (which may even be Pomi's marinara in a TJ's box...) and thanks to the magic that is Trader Joe's, they're probably also a good deal cheaper than the Pomi brand. You can also buy a pack of 12 on Amazon for roughly the same price.
So there you have it. Please write in with any other additional info you may have on this topic. And please do sign my petition asking Congress to get off its butt and reform the Toxic Substances Control Act ASAP.
Special thanks to Alicia at the Soft Landing for her great post on BPA-free tomatoes :)
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