Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why I Don't Buy Canned Food (even though it's so cheap!)

Most coupon/frugal blogs will post great deals on canned food. Most people who eat frugally live on lots of canned food, because it's cheap and shelf stable. I used to get a lot of it too! It's so convenient. I read a lot of blogs about how it's usually cheaper to make the stuff in the cans yourself, but man - who has time for that?

I do, now. Because I found out about BPA , or Bisephenol-A. It reacts as a hormone in your body, very similar to estrogen. It's in EVERYTHING - plastic cups, food containers, canned food and drink, water bottles - and in little bits, it doesn't show much harm. But if you're using plastic sippy cups/bottles for your little ones, feeding them canned fruit or veggies with dinner made with sauce that came out of a can - then you're ingesting a LOT each day.

A study done in Sweden showed a 2000% increase in 2 days from eating only canned food.

But why does this matter? So what if your kid [and you] have too much of this fake estrogen in your system?

"Recent research most often conducted on animals has linked BPA to a host of health issues including reproductive problems, learning disabilities, cancer and obesity. Critics of BPA contend the chemical poses the greatest risk to children." 

This is from an article about Maine's governor opposing a ban on BPA, which is outraging scientists all over the place. Basically, where we are with BPA is where science was a while back with cigarettes. There's enough evidence to make science/environmental groups want to ban it, but the FDA won't do it because it makes so much money. The problem is, just like cigarettes, more and more evidence is building against it. 

"Inconveniently for the FDA, a new study published today found an association between BPA and cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities in adults.
It was the first large study of BPA in humans, and it comes on the heels of a Yale study that found monkeys exposed to low doses of BPA (the same doses the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people) experienced memory and mood disorders."

This is a quote from a great article about BPA's effects on adults - until recently, people only worried about its effects on fetuses and small children. But apparently it has some pretty nasty consequences for adults as well. 

All this is not to scare you, or make you feel bad about what you eat or what you feed your kids. You have to do what you think is best for your family. I just had no idea about this until a couple of years ago, and thought I was eating really healthily. Knowledge is power, right? :] 

So this is why, when I go grocery shopping and there's some sweet deals on canned food, I have to push aside the desire for convenience and ignore them. [And believe me - that was really really hard at first!!] I'm sure someone has wondered that before when I mention that I coupon or have a tight grocery budget but never see canned goods in my cabinets.

[Side note: the Hubs has thrown out the receipt from the shopping trip we made this weekend! But the total was around $38, so I've got $27 more left for the week. I scored some organic bananas for .42/bag on the clearance produce rack!]


caednkat said...

So what veggies do you buy? Frozen or only fresh? Veggies and sometimes fruit are the only canned things I purchase anymore.
I'm just trying to figure out how to do vegetables if you don't do any canned. Fresh most of the time is so old and tasteless if your only option is the grocery stores.
Pondering. Thanks for the info!!

shepard lilley said...

I actually buy frozen organic veggies a lot, since most people will agree that they're just about as good as fresh. For fresh veggies and fruit, we go to the farmer's market or grow our own, and we do get our organic apples from Harris Teeter.
Have you seen the "Dirty Dozen, Clean 15" list? That helps me determine within our budget what veggies and fruits to buy organic, and where I can let it slide a bit.