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Healthy Canned Food Tips

Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

The average American consumes about 85 cans of food a year. Few people know, however, that many of these food and beverage cans -- including some containing infant formula -- are lined with a thin coating of epoxy resin that keeps the metal from eroding into the food. Unfortunately, that epoxy also contains bisphenol A (BPA) -- the same chemical that some plastics leach (see Healthy Plastic Container Tips).

Animal studies have linked low doses of BPA to obesity, diabetes, and breast cancer. However, the FDA has approved the use of BPA and "has confidence that no safety concern exists." Some industry groups and scientists report that the levels ingested are so low that you'd have to eat enormous amounts of canned food to be adversely affected.

Eat fresh foods whenever possible. Try to plan meals ahead of time so that you don't need to rely on canned beans, vegetables, and fruits for quick lunches and dinners. Avoid exposing infants to BPA by choosing powdered formula, rather than liquid forms.

For quick meals, stock up on fresh vegetables and fast-cooking dried beans, like split peas and lentils.

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