Back to all tips
Shopping tip

Don’t Just ban BPA, ban the Whole Family

Tip: Don't just ban BPA
Bisphenol-based compounds, of which Bisphenol A (aka BPA) is the most famous, are the building blocks of many plastic products and resins. They’re commonly used in food packaging like cans to prevent erosion and water bottles and studies show exposure is most likely to occur when there’s a temperature swing (cold to hot or vice versa) or when the content is greasy or acidic (think tomato sauce).

BPA-caused health issues like reproductive and endocrine disorders have gotten a lot of media attention and because of this, you’ll see a lot of cans and plastic goods with labels and marketing that practically shout “BPA Free!”  But don’t be fooled. 

Manufacturers could very well be substituting BPA with one of the other members of the Bisphenol family like BPS, BPF or BPH and these compounds could be just as bad as BPA or worse.  Unfortunately, the jury’s still out because these compounds haven’t been studied as extensively as BPA.

So whaddaya do? 

If you want “canned” foods, it’s best to buy them in glass jars.  There’s no bisphenol on the glass and even though there may be still some BP compound on the jar lid, it’s much less exposure than you’d get from the entire can.  You should also avoid olive oil and other greasy products packaged in plastic.  In fact, the less plastic packaging around your food the better as other plastic related compounds can migrate beyond BPA and substitutes, but we’ll get into that in another tip.

Further reading

“BPA in US Food”
Journal of Environmental Science and Technology

“Migration of phthalates, alkylphenols, bisphenol A and di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate from food packaging”
Journal of food control

“Migration of bisphenol A (BPA) from can coatings into a fatty-food simulant and tuna fish”
Journal of Food Additives and Contaminants