Rebecca Wood
Rebecca Wood
Be Nourished

Healing with Food Newsletter

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Minimize Your Consumption of Bisphenol-A (BPA)

If you’re eating canned drinks and foods or bottled water, wine or salad dressing, you need to know about Bisphenol-A (BPA).

BPA is the chemical compound used in food and beverage containers and other consumer products. A ground swell of scientific research shows that BPA leaches into what we're eating. This noxious hormone disrupter was found in 95% of Americans according to a 2004 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The plastics industry claims that a little BPA is harmless (www.Bisphenol-A.org). For sobering contradictory data, visit watchdog agencies such as: www.environmentalhealthnews.org or
www.bisphenolafree.org.

Here are five tips to help you minimize BPA ingestion.

1. Bypass water bottled in plastic containers. Install a filter on your sink as a healthier and—in the long term—more economical choice. Use a stainless steel water bottle to carry in your purse or backpack.

2. Purchase foods from reputable producers such as Eden Foods (www.edenfoods.com) who guarantees that, for example, their canned beans are BPA free.

3. Use glass baby bottles or plastic (polyethyelene) bag inserts. Or switch to colored, opaque polypropylene bottles labeled #5.

4. Choose soups, milk and soy milk packaged in recyclable cardboard "brick" cartons made of polyethylene (#2) and free of BPA.

5. Pay special attention to wine, vinegar or tomatoes because acid ingredients more readily absorb BPAs. For example, some wines contain up to six times the BPA of canned foods.

I, therefore, favor processed tomatoes in glass containers and I use only vinegars aged in wooden casks or clay crocks. Wine drinkers may wish to limit their wine consumption or buy wine aged in wooden kegs versus that aged in plastic-lined vats. 

My favorite vinegars are wood- or ceramic-aged apple cider, brown rice, balsamic and ume plum vinegar. Purchase a balsamic that clearly states on its label the length of time it aged in wood.  (Some balsamic vinegar is transferred into wood for a short time but primarily ages in plastic-lined vats. This enables the manufacturer to claim “aged in wood”.)

What about the vinegar used in mayo, pickles and salad dressings?  Unless the label specifies otherwise, assume it was cheaply produced in plastic and so likely contains a higher percentage of BPAs.

Here’s my favorite “Instant Salad Dressing”.  Drizzle salad greens with olive oil and add a small splash of Ume Plum Vinegar.  This crock-aged vinegar has a wonderful cherry-like bouquet and plum flavor.

Or, here's my recipe for sauerkraut which gets its tang from natural lactic acid fermentation (and is vinegar-free).

For healthy non-reactive cookware, see the Cookware Forum and the Healthy Cookware article.

Eating well and avoiding BPAs is doable.

Rebecca Wood