by Teresa J Mitchell
A toxic uninvited guest might be sitting at your Thanksgiving table, and we're not talking about your in-laws! It's BPA, a harmful chemical found in the epoxy-resin lining of food cans.
What's meant to be a protective barrier between the metal and the can's contents actually leaches this toxic chemical into the food we eat. Do you want to stop that "guest" at the door? Here's how to do it:
Kick the Cans
A study earlier this year suggested that 75-90% of a typical family's exposure to BPA came through food containers. Kick the can with these steps:
- Use fresh produce
- Look for tetra packs or jars
- check the label for BPA-free cans
- Try out our Thanksgiving menu. It's packed with easy, "can-free" recipes
The Breast Cancer Fund tested canned foods used to make popular Thanksgiving dishes. For half of the products tested, a single serving of the food contains enough BPA to show adverse health impacts in lab studies. Have some pumpkin pie after your green bean casserole and gravy, and the amount of BPA delivered to each holiday diner adds up to a concerning chemical dose.
Try These Replacements for Canned Food
We've put together a list of alternatives to canned foods used in Thanksgiving staples:
|Canned Item||Alternative replacement|
|Green beans||Fresh or frozen green beans|
|Mushroom soup||Fresh mushrooms and stock|
|Creamed corn||Cook frozen corn with milk or cream, thicken with four or cornstarch|
|Cranberry sauce||Make your own with fresh cranberries|
|Gravy||Make your own or purchase graving in a carboard tetra pack or jar|
|Pumpkin||Look for pumpkin puree in a tetra back or roast your own pumpkin or winter squash|
|Evaporated milk||Use heavy cream (a litte less than called for) or evaporate the milk yourself. Simmer on the stove until milk is reduced by just over 1/2 in volume|
The Big Picture Solution
The big-picture solution is to get this toxic chemical linked to breast cancer and other serious health problems out of all food packaging, and to ensure that any replacement is proven to be safe. That's the goal of the Breast Cancer Fund's Cans. Their campaign is about our health, our children's health, and a safer future in which breast cancer rates have dropped because we've reduced our exposure to toxic chemicals.
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