Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
December 29 2009

Is Canned Food Safe to Eat?

By Mark Sisson
76 Comments

Ideally, The Primal Blueprint is a living, breathing document. Whether it’s emails from insightful readers or random articles from my RSS feed casting a subject in a completely different light, or even personal N=1 revelations spurring a meticulous re-examination of previously-held stances, I’ll often find myself rethinking certain aspects of the PB. They usually hold up pretty well, mind you, but it’s always good to take stock of the evidence. It keeps us in the Primal community on our toes. Take yesterday’s post, for example. The discovery of grain residue from a 100,000 year old dig site was undoubtedly intriguing, because it suggested that a major tenet of the Primal lifestyle – that grains have no place in the human diet – might need some refining. In the end, our position remained the same (the intense labor inherent in the sourcing, gathering, hulling, processing, and cooking of grass seeds would have been too great for Grok to make it a staple food – especially when nutritionally-superior and far more nutrient-dense alternatives existed in abundance), but it was tested and therefore strengthened.

Sometimes, though, new evidence forces me to completely rethink things. Even something so seemingly innocuous as a random comment from a reader can set me off on a researching bender. Last week, someone mentioned the Bisphenol A (BPA) leaching tendencies of canned tomatoes. That was all it took to send me on a tear.

First, I looked deeper into the BPA issue. I’ve mentioned it before, and the battles over BPA content in plastics have gotten a lot of publicity, but after looking at the preponderance of evidence derived from recent animal trials, I’m not sure I can recommend using canned food at all anymore. Industry leaders say BPA is crucial for preventing direct contact between food and metal; they also say ditching the stuff would lead to far more botulism cases. That may be. But it’s undeniable that BPA has an effect on animals. Various dosages have different effects, and it’s unclear whether the animal models are relevant to human models, but the stuff does leach and it does impact the mammals that have been tested. A quick rundown (these are rodent studies unless otherwise noted) of dosages in µg/kg/day and the reported effects:

0.025 – Permanent changes to genital tracts in adult females with in utero exposure to BPA that only show up during adulthood. This may be attributed to “increased expression of estrogen receptor-alpha and progesterone receptors.” Another study found that BPA exposure “increased terminal end bud density at puberty as well as… terminal ends… in adult animals” in the mammary glands. In both rodents and humans, the end and terminal buds are where cancer arises.

1.0 – Ovarian cysts were seen in adult mice with prenatal exposure to BPA, but not in the corn oil group (don’t go chugging corn oil, though!). BPA-treated mice also exclusively displayed other adverse reproductive and carcinogenic effects, including sarcoma of the uterine cervix (a fairly rare cancer) and mammary adenocarcinoma (breast tumor).

2.0 – Pregnant mice fed normal levels of (read: in doses similar to the range “currently being consumed by people”) BPA, but not octylphenol (another xenoestrogen used in commercial products), bore males that developed enlarged prostates by adulthood.

2.4 – BPA exposures of pregnant rats (from gestation day 12 onward) and nursing rats (up until postnatal day 21) resulted in decreased testosterone levels in the testicles by nearly half.

2.5 – Given no further “treatment aimed at increasing tumor development” beyond fetal BPA administration, mice mammary glands were induced to develop carcinoma. Mice with prenatal exposure, then, were predisposed to breast cancer in adulthood.

10.0 – In male rats, low levels of BPA exposure affected the prostate epigenome (“genetic code” of the prostate), enough to render it especially susceptible to disease later in life. In female mice, exposure to BPA resulted in altered maternal behavior: BPA mothers expressed less interest in nursing and more time away from their pups when compared to the control corn oil group.

30.0 – A BPA dosage far below the human “tolerable daily intake” was apparently not tolerated especially well by rats; BPA “abolished and inverted” sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior.

50.0 (the official U.S. human exposure limit, as ordained by the EPA) – In nonhuman primates, continuous administration of BPA interfered in the formation of spine synapses in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Spine synapse formation is especially critical in the regulation of mood and general cognition; government-approved levels of BPA were enough to “abolish” synapse formation in some of our closest primate relatives.

There are plenty more, too.

(You might be wondering whether injecting rats with BPA is relevant to the kind of environmental exposure we humans get. Scientists found that the route of BPA administration in these studies – whether BPA was injected or given orally – did not impact plasma levels of the xenoestrogen. No matter how small the dose, oral exposure and injection resulted in identical blood plasma levels – so don’t think that just because we’re not shooting up with syringes of BPA we’re necessarily avoiding enhanced blood plasma levels.)

What makes these intriguing (and somewhat worrisome) is that dosages were kept well within the official daily limit supposedly tolerated by humans. In fact, most of the dosages fell far below the daily limit set by the EPA: 50 µg/kg/day.

Then I got to wondering just how much BPA we’re exposed to on a regular basis. While this PDF table, courtesy of Consumer Reports, may not apply to most of our readers, it gives a good idea of the amount of daily BPA regular folks who eat processed, canned food on a regular basis are taking in. If, for example, you eat a serving of Progresso Vegetable Soup, you’re eating (on average) 22 µg of BPA. A serving from a can of Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans contains 14.9 µg. A serving from a can of Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup contains 10.2 µg. These are just servings, mind you, and how many people just eat a third of a can of soup or green beans?

But wait – 22 µg, 14.9 µg, 10.2 µg? That doesn’t sound like much. Besides, the EPA and FDA say 50 µg/kg/day is totally safe. What’s to worry about?

Well, Consumer Reports also employs its own food safety experts. The same ones who ran the test on the BPA levels of popular packaged items arrived at a slightly different safe daily dosage, believe it or not. Citing the fact that exposures of 2.4 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight resulted in reproductive and sex hormone issues in rats (see above), the Consumer Reports food safety scientists “recommend 0.0024 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.” That means just a single serving of Del Monte green beans would put a 165-lb adult about 80 times past the Consumer Reports daily limit. Is that too much? Whom should we listen to – the FDA or Consumer Reports?

According to BPA researcher Frederik vom Saal, professor of developmental biology at the University of Missouri at Columbia, most regulatory standards regarding industrial chemicals are based on tests of abnormally high doses, but the evidence clearly shows that seemingly minute doses can have “completely different and potentially more harmful effects.” The FDA’s dosage limits, then, seem based on faulty or incomplete evidence. Even a special FDA scientific advisory panel was critical of the official company line, expressing disagreement with the FDA’s dismissal of a “large number” of studies on BPA. Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak echoed the calls for further review of the official stance on BPA in a recent letter to the FDA commissioner, suggesting that “an industry meeting last week to discuss ways to block restrictions on BPA” indicated a willingness “to mislead the American people on this public health issue.” The two congressmen were of the opinion that the FDA shouldn’t exclude non-industry funded studies from consideration.

I’m not a fan of politicians, but I’m going to have to agree with these two. The evidence that BPA is damaging across a whole range of dosage levels in animal models is pretty compelling and deserves further consideration. It isn’t conclusive, but when we’re talking about the widespread, near-daily ingestion of manmade chemicals that exhibit some classically xenoestrogenic effects, it’s better to err on the side of caution and take a good hard look.

Some have tried. There are some limited human studies on BPA, but they haven’t established anything beyond correlation. In 2008, results on the first major study of health effects on humans were published. Higher serum BPA levels were strongly associated with various disorders, including heart disease and diabetes. Was it the BPA causing the problem, or was BPA merely a marker for processed junk (canned/in plastic) food consumption? Causality cannot be confirmed. Other studies have associated recurrent miscarriage, oxidative stress and inflammation with urinary concentrations of BPA, and another study (PDF) found an association between prenatal exposure to BPA and externalizing behaviors in children, including aggression, delinquency, and hyperactivity. “Altered hormone levels in men” have also been linked to urinary BPA concentrations.

Based on the animal models in which serum BPA had measurable effects, especially on developing fetuses, I think there might be something more than pure correlation going on here. We already know that BPA has been found in umbilical cord blood (PDF), so the possible delivery system is there. We already know that various amounts of BPA show up in canned and processed food, so there’s a possible source that people are tapping into. What we don’t know for sure is whether the dosages are safe or not. Do we trust the FDA or CR?

If a government agency explicitly tasked with regulating the safety of all the various things consumers put into their bodies can’t be bothered to look at the actual studies attempting to establish whether something is safe or not, I’m not sure I want to listen to its daily dosage recommendations. Consumer Reports is generally well-regarded, and they don’t exclude a study simply because its findings were inconvenient. While their donors may have agendas, at least those agendas, as far as I’m aware, don’t revolve around removing restrictions on potentially harmful chemicals.

From now on, I think I’ll be avoiding canned goods as much as possible (I already basically do this), and I’d advise most everyone else – especially expectant mothers – to do the same. Just don’t lose your minds over this. Can your own vegetables or buy vegetables stored in glass jars. Or, maybe, just eat fresh, whole food. This won’t be an issue if you’re already following the PB and avoiding processed food and sodas in cans, but it might be worth it to pass it on to friends, family, co-workers, vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else with whom you normally clash on nutritional matters.

So, what about the tomatoes – will I be tossing all my cans of organic tomato paste and organic crushed plum tomatoes? Probably not, to be honest. I don’t plan on giving birth anytime soon, and I don’t see myself prematurely entering puberty. I’m also a big fan of chili, which simply isn’t the same made with fresh tomatoes. I am going to look for alternatives, though; I plan on trying canning again, and I might give those glass jar tomatoes from Tropical Traditions a shot. A quick Googling reveals a number of other glass jarred tomato vendors if those don’t work out. I think Whole Foods might even carry a brand, but I can’t be sure. Eden Foods uses BPA-free cans, if you can find them.

Okay, maybe the new “stance” on canned food isn’t so new or revolutionary. We already avoided the stuff simply because it usually meant you weren’t eating fresh, whole food; now we’ve just got another reason to avoid it. Let’s hope more consumers come to the same conclusion, though, because I somehow can’t see the FDA or the industry having a change of heart anytime soon.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

76 thoughts on “Is Canned Food Safe to Eat?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. So avoiding canned foods also means avoiding one of our staples: coconut milk. Perhaps a post on how to turn young or mature coconuts into something akin to canned coconut milk is in order?

      1. Cheers – thanks for that! I am pretty sure there are a few places around here that carry that brand!

        1. Native forest CM has carageenan and cornstarch 🙁 Looks like making it fresh at home is the only way to avoid chemicals and suspect ingredients 🙁

  2. Wow. what are your thoughts on putting canned tuna or salmon on my lunch salads?

    1. They make pouches instead of cans for many brands now, I wonder if those are safe??

      1. According to one of the charts Mark linked to, the pouches have considerably less BPA than the cans. Still, they do have a little bit, but it looks like they are safer.

    2. I looked into this recently. BPA only leeches out in acidic or heated environments, but in the canning process, the cans ARE heated. So there is some leeching.

      The pouches are the same – they also have BPA in the lining.

      That said, I still eat canned tuna nearly daily.

  3. [quote]a major tenet of the Primal lifestyle – that grains have no place in the human diet – might need some refining[/quote]

    Intended or not, I liked the pun. 😉

    1. Also, because of this, anything made with recycled paper can have BPA in it (b/c the credit card receipts are over recycled). I’ve heard that pizza boxes made with recycled paper have traceable levels of BPA in them. Basically any food container made with recycled paper can have BPA in it. Basically, we’ve made sure that nothing is safe any more!

  4. How do tetra paks fit in this equation? I have found some organic tomatoes without added salt packaged in them.

  5. Let me add, too, that those BPA studies were based on continuous daily administration of BPA to the animals. Like in the case of the gestating and then nursing rats, they were getting it every single day up until the 21st day of nursing. The point is that Primal eaters aren’t eating canned green beans every day; they probably aren’t even eating anything canned every day. As I said, don’t lose your minds over this – unless you’re pregnant or expecting to be. Then, you might be a bit more careful with your intake. It’s the mother who drinks soda every day, eats canned soup for dinner, heats the plastic baby bottle up full of formula that should be more cautious.

    1. Yes, and parents should consider the can the formula came in. Another reason to breast feed…

        1. For instance, women that are drug addicts, HIV carriers, and those that don’t have breasts. For all others, anything is possible. Most women that I’ve ever heard from on the subject that refused to breastfeed either find it inconvenient or else can’t imagine their breasts being used for any function other than sexual stimulation. That’s more a failing of our civilization though.

        2. To the man who commented that “anything is possible” when it comes to breastfeeding, I stifle a scream.

          I have worked harder than most people consider reasonable to breastfeed my two children, suffering from low milk supply each time. I managed to breastfeed my first exclusively, but have had to supplement my second with formula.

          This has broken my heart, over and over, and the idea that “anyone who wants to breastfeed can” is salt on a wound.

          I homebirthed my babies, I know what breasts are for.

          Unless you’ve been there, you have no room to talk.

        3. This is simply an idiotic thing to say. I thought it was obvious to anyone that breastfeeding, like any other thing a body can do, is highly variable. You wouldn’t claim that any person born with eyes must have 20-20 vision, or else be lazy and reluctant?! Some people need glasses, some people don’t make enough milk to feed their babies.

  6. Home canning jar lids have BPA in them too! I shed a tear over that, since I can all my own tomatoes. Apparently the BPA can seep into your canned goods, even if you use glass jars. I’m assuming that canned goods in a glass jar has a BPA coated jar-lid as well.

    Also, a lot of organic companies have ceramic lined jars, but they also contain trace amounts of BPA as well.

    So, the only solution is to avoid canned goods, or can your own using this line of French glass canning jars that use usable glass lids. Apparently they are expensive to begin with, but are very cost effective long term–and no BPA! Found here: http://www.amazon.com/Parfait-French-Glass-Canning-Gasket/dp/B001A5QI9Q

    1. There is also a German line called Weck canning jars that are similar and safe as well.

    2. Glad you touched on this, I was going to mention the canning lids. All the major manufacturers use BPA in their lids from what I recall.

  7. I switched from plastic water bottle to stainless. Should I have any concerns?

  8. I guess having canned sardines or oysters a few times a week isn’t too much exposure. That’s about the only canned food I eat nowadays.

    1. Me too. Well, I used canned tomatoes the other day, but I’m going to start growing and canning my own soon since I live in Arizona.

  9. I recently got a Klean Kanteen. It’s 18/8 stainless and un-coated. KleanKanteen.com Don’t get an aluminum drinking bottle as the aluminum must be coated to avoid metal leaching into your drink. Unfortunately the coating is usually BPA based.

  10. Wow! How many of us have kids 3 years old or older and though we were being healthy by expressing breast milk and freezing it in plastic baby bottles, then thawing them in the microwave later?

  11. Mark, thanks so much for doing such a through, comprehensive post about this. I’d heard about the dangers of BPA previously, but the way you put it does make me want to watch out a little more. I imagine it’s almost impossible to avoid all BPA exposure, but eliminating the top sources has got to help. Just another reason why canned sodas are killing everyone!

    Just about the only canned food we have in the house is tomato paste, which we use about twice per week – I hope that’s reasonable enough because it would be awfully hard to give it up entirely!

  12. yeesh. I’ve been going through this BPA dillema with my cats’ and dogs’canned food. I feed them grain free EVO which is very expensive but the cans are lined with plastic. Apparently, the company is working on alternatives. I have come to the conclusion that I must prepare food for them myself from fresh meat, etc to avoid this problem. Using only grass fed organic meats, however, is way beyond my budget. There is an issue with everything.

    1. Hey Nancy, this is what I feed my cat:
      http://www.naturesvariety.com/rawCAT

      It is about twice as expensive as the Avoderm canned food I used to feed her, partially because I buy their organic chicken product rather than the not organic varieties.

      She didn’t like the lamb, but transitioned pretty easily to the chicken. She had health issues that the vet could not successfully diagnose, and she’s very healthy now.

      Good luck!

  13. Many thanks Mark for such a comprehensive look into this topic… I had heard about some plastic bottles but never knew about this.

    Can we assume frozen veggies are ok? Or is the plastic they are bagged in dangerous as well?

      1. It is better though than the canned stuff. I would guess that heat from the canning process encourages the plastic to leech, whereas frozen goods are probably frozen in the bag and not exposed to heat.

        Also, the study doesn’t specify, but those are steam bags, so the vegetables are cooked in the bags. It’s possible you could mitigate your BPA intake by just cooking it in a pot and not in the steam bag.

        I didn’t see any frozen veg. in a non-steam bag on the list. Those bags have always scared me–I wouldn’t ever just cook stuff in plastic!

        1. I’m wrong…the study did specify whether it was cooked in the steam bags and it made 0.1 differences between the two. Still…I’m not sure it’s a good idea!

  14. Thanks for the post, Mark. Thankfully, I don’t want kids, but I have friends that do. I know at least one of them will listen to this.

  15. I’m a home canner too who became really disillusioned last year when the BPA news started growing and I found out that the metal lids are coated with it. I wanted to agree with another commenter on the Weck jars. http://www.weckcanning.com/

  16. Seems that the UK seem pretty happy with the levels of ingestion of BPA:
    http://www.bisphenol-a.org/human/epoxycan.html

    “Based on the results of the SPI study, the estimated dietary intake of BPA from can coatings is less than 0.00011 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day. This level is more than 450 times lower than the maximum acceptable or “reference” dose for BPA of 0.05 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

    1. What was this “estimated dietary intake?” 1 canned item per person per day?

  17. I cut up and freeze my homegrown tomatoes but so far have not had enough to last through the winter. Buying large quantities at a farmers market and freezing them would work well if one haas the freezer space.

    Between the frozen meat, berries and tomatoes, I think I need to add another freezer next year.

    Not happy to hear about the BPA in canning jar lids. ARRRRRG.

    1. My mom used to save 1/2 gal milk cartons when we were kids and freeze her bounty of tomatoes in them. I wonder what was in the waxy coating on those milk cartons

      My ? is when did they start putting the BPA into the canning process? And as long as we are going down the road of possibilities, it sounds like somebody could have a day digging around for a correlation between BPA exposure to parents and the resultant behavioral issues of their children … ADD, ADHD, and ASD. I am sure it as in most cases, there is a genetic disposition that is set off by exposure…

      Love you Bart Stupak… pushing all the tough issues from conception to natural death!

  18. The only product I’ve heard a lot about is canned tomatoes. They say that the acidic nature of tomatoes causes more leaching than other foods. I also can tomatoes, but don’t worry too much about the lids as that is not a lot of surface contact with the food. Since I don’t eat a lot of canned food I’m not gonna get mental about it.

  19. Good point… stressing over everything and being paranoid to the Nth degree won’t help matters. I don’t eat a lot of canned food – and will be especially careful about any tomato products – and like my beer from the bottle… so…

    All good info – and it is especially important for pregnant / nursing moms and small children.

    If we uber-analyzed most things, we would never pump gas, breathe air in a plane, or eat food from the local farmer’s market (they usually haul their vegetables in -gulp- plastic tubs!!!).

    Hmmm… seriously rethinking my water bottle….

  20. “Eden Foods uses BPA-free cans, if you can find them.” For everything but their tomatoes! Their web site says they have to use it for their tomatoes because of the acidity. Kudos to Eden for using BPA-free cans on everything else, though.

  21. So what about sardines and oysters? That’s one of my daily snacks, each packed in olive oil. Does the olive oil, being much less acidic than the tomatoes really create as much BPA in the food?

    I hate to eliminate another “handy” source of protein, but will if I need to, especially if it reduces testosterone!

  22. So many potential answers to the question of what has gone wrong in the last 50 years… Mark, is there BPA in aluminum cans, or good reason to avoid them as well? I have abandoned sodas largely thanks to canned sparkling water. I suspect it’s not a perfect solution but so far I’ve fought the urge to do the research out of fear of the result.

  23. wasn’t that a no brainer ? canning was an unnatural thing to do and its safety has always been questionable ? You don’t really need so much of research to get to that conclusion.

    1. Canning unnatural? Canning summer produce enabled my mother’s and grandfather’s families to get through long winters in Michigan.

  24. It’s the old adage or “just listen to your body”. We don’t need scientific analysis as much a we use it. Just eat goods and notice what they do to your body and eat the ones that make you feel good.

  25. This makes me happy, just more justification for preserving my own pickles and brined goods in old fashioned Kilner jars (Mason jars)…no BPA 🙂

    I do eat canned tuna occasionally.

    Coconut milk can be made from dried coconut. Whizz in a coffee grinder until it is a fine powder, and mix with water or raw milk, leave to stand. Use as normal.

  26. I don’t plan on stressing too much over it either, but being only 29 years old with however many decades of canning ahead of me, I can transition over to Weck jars at a comfortable pace and feel good about the drastically lower BPA level I’ll consume the rest of my life.

  27. Thinking about this overnight has made me mad. I am assuming BPA is leaching into the environment like all our other chemicals and will be affecting fish and animals if it hasn’t already. Will we ever learn?

  28. Mark,
    I realize that it’s tough to trust everything we hear from the Government, especially considering their track record. However, magazines like Consumer Reports tip towards scandal, danger, and hyperbole. They make way more money of an issue that reads “BPA IN TOILET PAPER WILL KILL YOUR UNBORN BABIES” than “BPA is bad, but you should be ok if you aren’t pregnant and eat natural foods”. Grains of salt and whatnot.

  29. Any time, Jeff. If you do decide to fully jump in, I’d be curious to read how your experience goes. If you continue to do explosive total body movements (lifting, plyometrics, intervals as well as some suspesnsion training with things like TRX, elite rings and straps), I think you won’t get skinny.

  30. Does anyone know if Nissan/Thermos uses BPA in their thermoses? I don’t know if they are unlined or not.

  31. Yea, I too can’t give up canned tomatoes and tomato pastes. BUT I’ve seen these paper carton containers with tomato puree being sold at some Stop n Shops and Whole Foods. I’ve used them for my sauces, and its great. So look for those. I can’t remember the name off the top of my head. But its the only one available to my knowledge.

  32. 3 years ago I threw out all of my *new* baby bottles to buy bpa free ones, because just in case was enough for me! I use less and less canned items. I quit eating canned veggies years ago, because fresh is best! I do occasionally use canned tomatoes, but have cut back on those too. I think we have no choice but to try to be minimally exposed.

  33. Has anyone tried Tattler canning rings? From what the web site says they’re reusable and bpa free. http://shop.REUSABLECANNINGLIDS.COM

    I’m not advertising, since I’ve never used them myself but after reading that, I’d sure like to can this summer’s tomatoes and blackberries!

  34. There are so many comments that I’m not sure if this was covered. For people who can at home, the Tattler brand reusable canning lids are BPA free.

  35. Oh, now I see the post above mine! Yes, I have used Tattler canning lids many times and although they take a bit of getting used to (the process is a bit different) they work well.

  36. The discovery of grain residue from a 100,000 year old dig site was undoubtedly intriguing, because it suggested that a major tenet of the Primal lifestyle – that grains have no place in the human diet – might need some refining. In the end, our position remained the same (the intense labor inherent in the sourcing, gathering, hulling, processing, and cooking of grass seeds would have been too great for Grok to make it a staple food – especially when nutritionally-superior and far more nutrient-dense alternatives existed in abundance), but it was tested and therefore strengthened.

    It isn’t intense labour, if it isn’t done on a more than family scale, the soil and climate are right, and if you can use extensive methods (i.e., there’s enough land that you can get away with the lower yields per acre from not ploughing, manuring, etc.). Some researchers think grain use started in western Asia by harvesting natural wild grains without even sowing, and certainly the early South Australian farmers (“cockies”) just harrowed the soil lightly before sowing and knocked the grain off growing stalks into containers without full blown reaping, leaving the rest in the fields to rot in its own time. Think of the traditional American Indian way of harvesting Wild Rice – it was much like that, only done from canoes.

  37. Apologies if this has already been addressed somewhere here and I missed it.. but if you had to choose between a BPA free can of coconut milk that had guar gum in it (e.g. Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk), or a can of coconut milk without additives but probably in a BPA lined can (e.g. Natural Value Coconut Milk).. which is the lesser of two evils?

  38. From http://organicgrace.com/node/316:
    “I called Muir Glen today about the BPA in their cans. The woman I spoke to said they switched to a new can for their tomatoes during their last growing cycle. These new cans DO NOT have BPA. She said the new cans have a use-by date of 2013, and also when you open the can, you will see an orangish or copper color on the side of the can instead of a white
    liner. (…)”

    Now my question to you guys:
    Do canned goods up there in USA have a “white” plastic liner inside the can? Here in Argentina the can is just the metal can and nothing more, no plastic or any other kind of liners whatsoever, so… does this mean they´re safe (BPA free) being just the metal can?

  39. Hi Mark and all,
    I don’t can tomatoes, I freeze them whole. Pull one out and stick it in your chili, or curry, and simmer away. It will dissolve slowly, leaving some parts richly cooked and others delightfully fresh. The flavor is unbeatable. You can also half thaw them and stick them in a blender and make fresh salsa mid winter.
    Didi Pershouse, LAc.
    the Center for Sustainable Medicine

  40. Actually, I read that our biggest exposure to BPA is not from food packaging, but from thermal receipts. And, the chemical penetrates the skin so thoroughly that it can’t even be washed off. It’s a horror for me because I touch them all day long at work. Furthermore, because of the receipts, all of our paper money is also contaminated, so no one is safe! It’s just one of those things that is so beyond our control that there is nothing we can do about it.

  41. Food safety is dependent on the sanitation and quality standards and assurance of the packaging facility mostly. Although, of course the temperature and conditions in which they are stored, transported, and eaten make a monumental impact as well. It is probably best to note the important factors of the can before eating, such as the expiration date, country of origin, packaging company, preservatives and their concentration, and food type.