Thursday, September 9, 2010

BPA... Ever heard of this?

Recently I read an article about BPA, or Bisphenol A, which is a chemical used to make plastics and resins.

It is commonly used in the plastic lining on the inside of canned food products to help prevent the cans from corroding.

The punch line...

Studies have shown that BPA can leach into foods, especially foods that are highly acidic, such as tomatoes.

Consumer Reports published "Concern over Canned Foods: Our tests find wide range of BPA in soups, juice, and more." It tested 19 brand-named canned food items and found that most of them had "some" BPA in them.

The Environmental Protection Agency has set the current safe level of BPA at 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight...

So I am wondering... how much is initially in the can? How much is leached? What if you eat the whole can of tomatoes?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) tested for BPA in the urine of 2,000 people and found that even though BPA was present, it was at levels a million times lower than the 'Okay' level.

What happens if you are exposed to too much BPA???

Lab animals who were exposed to high levels of BPA showed a decline in the potency of their reproductive organs. But of course this was at extreemly high levels of exposure.

In 2009, the FDA announced that is would launch a $30 million dollar BPA research program after it acknowledged that there is a "concern about the possible effects of BPA on brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children."

As a food expert what should I say?

Tomatoes are really healthy. I want people who may not be able to buy fresh tomatoes year round to be able to get tomatoes in some form.

Remember from my article on antioxidants, Lycopene is easier for us to absorb after it has been processed.

Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD, nutrition consultant and ADA spokesperson states "unless someone is regularly eating incredible amounts of canned tomatoes, the evidence concerning BPA does not tell consumers they should exclude them from a healthful diet."

If you are still weary of eating canned (tomatoes) after this, you do have other options:
  • Frozen
  • Fresh
  • Vegetables in glass jars

The original article was taken from the ADA Times, Winter 2010, volume 7, Issue 2. 

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