Someone asked about the safety of individual applesauces, fruit bowls and canned food in the comments of my original article on bisphenol-a. I did not go much into detail about how it relates to canned foods, so thought I would make a post out of my response to her.
I called Dole several months ago asking about their #7 containers used for their plastic jarred foods and the little fruit bowls. They DO contain bisphenol A. I had several of these and I returned the ones I had not opened and stopped feeding what I had to my daughter. As far as Dole’s canned foods, they said all their cans are made of tin and are not lined with plastic.
Del Monte cans however ARE lined with an enamel containing BPA. I had to ask him several times and finally got it out of him and then he immediately got all defensive about it. Obviously they have had many calls about this. I asked if there were any plans to change this and he said “No, the USDA, FDA, etc. all approve the lining.” I said they recall items all the time and so I trust the independent research that shows BPA is dangerous and that I would be looking for another product line for my canned foods. I have sometimes use their corn and green beans for cooking, but will no longer.
I always avoid anything with #7 and anything that is a hard, clear plastic. I would rather be on the safe side. Many people do not worry about BPA, but I do because there are so many other things to worry about like chemicals in shampoos, pesticides on food, antibiotics in meat… If it is something I can easily control, I do it, it’s a simple. It’s easy now to find healthier alternatives. If ever you are concerned, just call the 800# on the package and ask for a direct answer. If the person does not know, kindly ask them if they could find out. If they say the product does contain bisphenol A, ask if there are plans to change it and make it safe. If not, make the request for them to do so and tell them you are not going to purchase any more of their products until there is a change. Many will also say “Our research shows polycarbonate is safe.” Obviously there is enough independent research that proves this is not true.
There are much safer alternative products. For example, Motts, Whole Foods and Earth’s Best all make applesauce containers with #1, #2 or #5 plastic. I am sure there are others. UPDATE: Mott’s (and possible all single serve applesauce) also come in #7 polycarbonate containers. I just called Mott’s and they confirmed they do use polycarbonate for some applesauce containers, but that #1 is also used. Mott’s maintains the FDA says #7 is safe, but we know better, don’t we! So, my advice is to either avoid Mott’s (and possibly all single serve applesauce and fruit) or check the bottom each and every time you make a purchase to make sure you are not selecting a #7 container. Sure is frustrating, but hopefully the FDA will come to their senses soon and ban this toxic substance.
I have not seen any fruit bowls though that are not #7. I have gone to almost all fresh organic fruit, but on the extremely rare occassion I don’t, I use regular canned fruit and veggies (tin containers!). But so much fresh or frozen organic options are available, that canned fruits and veggies just really are not a necessity. Now, I may pull out a can maybe once a month. I no longer used canned tomatoes — i use fresh or do without. I just realized that this was a simple change and really has not had a big impact on our lifestyle.