Health alert: BPA found in Thanksgiving staples

Cary Carr

Originally posted here, at Phillymag.com @ Be Well Philly.

Ah, Thanksgiving. The warm pumpkin pie, the savory turkey-breast, the delicious stuffing … the toxic chemicals? Yup, you read that right: There might be a toxin hiding in your holiday feast.

According to a new report released by the Breast Cancer Fund, the estrogenic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has been found in canned products many use in Thanksgiving dinners. BPA is used to make the resin linings of metal food cans, providing a barrier between the metal and food to help avoid bacteria. So what’s the problem? The chemical can bleed from the resin and find its way into your cranberry sauce.

Research studies have linked BPA to increased risks for breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Eleven states have even banned the chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups.

In order to determine where the Turkey Day BPA comes from, the Breast Cancer Fund tested four cans of each of the following: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell’s Turkey Gravy, Carnation Evaporated Milk, Del Monte Fresh Cut Corn, Green Giant Cut Green Beans, Libby’s Pumpkin and Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce.

All of the cans, except the Ocean Spray ones, tested positive for BPA. Although the amount of BPA in cans of the same product varied, half of the items tested contained levels of BPA that lab studies have shown to cause negative health effects.

The report, which is part of the Breast Cancer Fund’s Cans Not Cancer campaign, urges food manufacturers to replace BPA with a safer alternative and consumers to swap in their cans for healthy alternatives.

But the trade-off doesn’t have to be another tedious chore on your holiday check-list. Just replace your canned foods with fresh or frozen options, or opt for foods stored in glass jars instead of metal cans.

No need to worry. You still have time to edit that grocery list.

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