Can the Cans this Thanksgiving

Kelsie MitchellWith Thanksgiving in a week, we will soon be assaulted with food…lots and lots of food. What many of us don’t realize are the potential chemicals that come along with our yearly meal of thanks. I am referring to the dose of endocrine disruptors in our everyday food items. Endocrine disruptors signify a large class of chemicals that interrupt the normal functions of our hormone system. One endocrine disruptor that most of us are familiar with is “BPA” or bisphenol-A.

Bisphenol-A is an industrial chemical that is used in the creation of polycarbonate plastic. It’s a “plasticizer,” hence you often see “BPA-Free” on water bottles. More than polycarbonates, however, BPA is also used in the epoxy resin linings found in canned foods (Silent Spring Institute). BPA is an unstable polymer and is liphilic, i.e. fat-loving, which means that it can be found in fatty foods (Breast Cancer Fund Report). From this epoxy resin lining, BPA is capable of leaching into the canned product and consequently consumed (Breast Cancer Fund). Acting in our body as a synthetic version of estrogen, there lies the danger of increased risk of breast cancer, and a suite of other issues.

Following major scientific research conducted by the Silent Springs Institute and others, the myth that the low amounts of BPA present in foods and water from leaching don’t really matter is being debunked. In fact the amount of BPA found in canned foods is actually higher than the BPA levels reportedly found in water bottles. So yes, it may be easier to make that pumpkin pie or that cranberry sauce from a can, but is it worth compromising your health? This Thanksgiving season, we challenge you to find alternatives, and have a hand at making something from scratch! You never know, a new tradition might be started, and hopefully herald the beginning of the end to the consumption of BPA and other harmful chemical disruptors!

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