Home canning season is just beginning and those of us who like to extend the harvest by putting away fruit and vegetables are looking out our bottles and getting ready. But before you go and buy those Ball or Kerr metal canning lids here is something that you might like to think about.
BPA, the abbreviation for bisphenol A, is a synthetic estrogen used to make some plastics hard and as a resin in can linings so they don’t rust.
According to US Department of Health and Human Services
In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration conducted a review of toxicology research and information on BPA, and, at that time, judged food-related materials containing BPA on the market to be safe.
But recent studies have reported subtle effects of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals. While BPA is not proven to harm children or adults, these newer studies have led federal health officials to express some concern about the safety of BPA. read the report here
BPA has been in use for several decades. But there is more and more evidence to suggest that it is definitely something you want to avoid. It is thought that even trace exposure can disrupt your endocrine system and create all kinds of health problems, including cancer, adult-onset diabetes, and obesity.
But here’s the problem: it isn’t easy to avoid BPA. The Centers for Disease Control found that 93 percent of Americans tested have BPA in their bodies. Canned food may be the primary source of exposure. So if you’re going the extra mile to can your own food, Teak, it would be nice to go the extra, extra mile to be free from BPA.
I spoke to Dr. Anila Jacob, Senior Scientist and the resident physician at the Environmental Working Group, about ways to avoid BPA when you’re canning.
“We know BPA leaches when it comes in contact with the food,” she said. “One thing you can do is try not to fill the jar all the way up to the top, but that’s hard because when you move it, it’s going to shake.” Read the entire article here
Now don’t despair there are a few alternatives out there for those that do want to can their own food.
If you can afford them Weck has a beautiful array of glass jars for you to purchase. But as they are beyond the budget for most of us I suggest the reusable BPA free plastic lids that are now on the market.
The best one I have found, though not had a chance to use them yet, are Tattler Reusable Canning Jar Lids They are made of plastic that contains no BPA. According to the company properly used, with any standard Mason jar and metal screw band, these reusable lids will last a lifetime. If you ever wear this lid out, they will replace it free! Now that sounds good not just to get rid of that nasty BPA but also for the budget and even for the environment.