I started canning last year not only to save money on my groceries, but to preserve the bounty of my own organic garden. You know, trying to keep as many chemicals out of our food as I can. And while I would love to eat more of our food raw, the 5-6 month non-growing season doesn’t make that possible – so I must can.
A couple years ago I also found out about BPA (bispenol-A), which is an industrial chemical that has estrogenic properties. This means that it can mimic the estrogen hormone in your body causing reproductive and hormonal problems in both you and baby. And speaking of baby, it can also cause issues with development. I decided to stay away from BPA whenever possible! I stopped reheating food in plastic containers, stopped storing hot or fatty foods in plastic, and started drinking out of glass or BPA free containers. I’ve also been careful with the food products I buy, because store bought canned food also has BPA in the liner, to keep the aluminum from leaching into your food. Mmmm….. chemicals to prevent chemicals.
So I was very disheartened when I recieved this months Organic Gardening. It seems that the underside of those Ball and Kerr lids I’ve been buying actually have BPA in them! In the Q&A area of Ball’s website someone asked about this. Here is their response:
Jarden Home Brands manufacturer of home canning lids: Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, and Bernardin brands follow the same rigorous FDA standards used by the commercial food packaging industry. Like the majority of commercial food packagers using glass jars with metal closures and metal sanitary cans, the coating on our home canning lids is designed to protect the metal from reacting with the food it contains. A small amount of Bisphenol A is present in the coating. The FDA does not limit Bisphenol A in commercially packaged foods, and is aligned with the international scientific community’s position that a small amount of Bisphenol A in contact with “canned foods” is not a health concern for the general public.
Now, granted, the food would need to come into contact with the underside of the lid to contaminate it. So we may not have a huge cause for concern. But…..can we be so sure our food remains toxin free? Personally I’m trying not to freak out about this. I know my food is still safer than what I could purchase at the stores. And I also know that I keep a deeper headspace when canning (cause I’m to lazy to actually figure out 1/4in…..) so not to much should be up there touching the lid, even at a boil. I also know that I keep my jars vertical all the time, so the food does’t have an opportunity to sit on the lid either. (a good reason not to use the inversion method while canning!)
Still…..this bothers me.
There is at least one BPA free canning product on the market made by Weck. They use glass lids as well as jars and you use a rubber seal between them along with metal clasps during sealing. As an added plus, the jars are really pretty. I wonder though if they’d fit our normal mason jars or if I’d have to start all over again with jars. Because they are pretty pricy. Although, you never have to keep buying lids so long term it might be worth it.
So what you think of this information and do you know of any other options for canning lids?
Also…..Hey Jarden! let’s get the BPA out of our food!!
***and if you haven’t yet heard, I’ll be hosting the first ever Real Food Twitter Party next Thursday (11/5) from 9-11pm EST. Use the hash tag #realfood . One lucky party go-er will also win a copy of Nourishing Traditions!!!
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