I'm a big, huge, enormous, ginormous fan of glass for food storage. It's safe. I have zillions of glass jars them in my fridge, cabinets, and freezer. For a while now I've been aware that the lids of said jars contain the controversial hormone disrupter bisphenol-a that has also been linked to infertility and cancer. Many of the people I know and follow online have come up with all kinds of ways to attempt to get around BPA in their glass jar lids including not filling food all the way to the top so it won't touch the lids, never storing acidic foods in jars, covering food in a circle of wax paper to act as a (completely unscientific) "barrier" between the food and the lid, and even smearing the lid in beeswax.
Me, I think the point of storing food in jars in the first place is to minimize exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemicals I prefer not to have in my food, or my daughter's food. But you have to live in the world. At some point you have to feel you've minimized, done what you can. I try not to fill my jars too full. But I'm also not thinking too much about it. I moved on.
So when Health Canada came out with a test last week saying they had detected BPA in glass jars of baby food with metal lids, I wasn't surprised. Of course it is in there. All the more reason to make your own baby food. And store it in glass containers with glass lids, or not filled all the way up to a metal lid. Health Canada, by the way, is a federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health that assesses the safety of drugs and many consumer products, helps improve the safety of food, and "provides information to Canadians to help them make healthy decisions." Would that our government was doing similar tests instead of fighting over if BPA is even a health concern!? Ugh.
The Canadian survey covered 122 products sold last summer. There were seven different brands manufactured by six separate companies, including ones sold here like Earth's Best, Heinz, Gerber and Beech Nut. The full list is here. I'm not certain baby food sold in Canada is exactly what is sold in America, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't be. And clearly the BPA in metal lids issue doesn't stop at the border.
Is it wrong that as scary as this sounds I'm not unhappy BPA was discovered in baby food? Especially as the levels detected were low -- the levels really covered a wide range. The highest detected (7.22 parts per billion) came from a Canadian brand I haven't seen in and around the U.S. - My Organic Baby Inc. Maybe it's just not in my region? Health Canada calls this a low and safe level; their limit is 600 parts per billion. Let me explain why I'm not unhappy: the last time BPA (and other harmful-to-growing-kids plastics) was detected in an iconic baby item - bottles - the marketplace changed instantly, and the let's-ban-it petitions started circulating. Canada has already taken steps to ban bottles that contain BPA. Maybe this "discovery" will get enough media attention to be just the kick in the ass manufacturers need to remove BPA from their lids and cans. As of now there are too few (Eden, Vital Choice) that say they're not using it. Let's get it out of our baby food, our adult food, consumer products and more. Once and for all. If you use jarred baby food, email and call the manufacturer to let them know you don't want BPA as one of the ingredients you're feeding your baby.
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