Sunday, May 20, 2012
Canning and the Stupidest Person on the Planet
Canning and preserving season is going to be upon us before you know it. Those of you in the south are probably already putting by. Preserving healthy chemical free food for your family and feeling pretty darn good about it. Right? Canning for healthy food is exactly why I do it. It isn't because it is cheaper because other than the garden most of the stuff I can I purchase. I do wait until I find a killer deal and the food taste better than the canned stuff you get at the grocery store and usually canning a quart of something even if purchased is cheaper than buying a 14 oz. can of something if you don't count your labor. (have you noticed the cans are smaller than they use to be?)
Lately I have been hearing a lot more about BPA contained in the white lining of commercial cans and plastic containers. It is suppose to protect the steel can from corroding especially in high acid foods like tomatoes and pineapple. It is very difficult to limit your exposure to BPA since most everything is made with plastic or has BPA in it. Even most of the cash register receipts that are handed to you at the store are made with BPA if they are the thermally printed type. (Not the ink type)
abcnews story BPA (please excuse the ad)
BPA is linked to cancer, obesity, hormone disruption in both men and women, early maturation in kids, and heart disease. (Especially in men) Now I don't know about you but that is not something I want for my kids and I would like to have the man hang around a little longer. BPA has been banned in Canada, and Europe but not here. I suspect big money has something to do with that. Long ago I took a look at the plastics in my house. Especially the cheap plastics with the number 3 or 7 on the recycle symbol. I have known for years that you shouldn't micro wave food in plastic. I had a co-worker that was poisoned by doing that and when is the last time you read directions that said "cover with plastic wrap and microwave..."? So I got rid of plastic milk containers when my kids were much younger. If I don't buy milk in glass I get it in paper cartons. I have got rid of all or most plastic containers that hold left over food and switched to Pyrex. It is more expensive initially, cheaper in the long run, re-usable and doesn't eventually fill up the land fills. I am canning more and more of the foods we eat including oranges. Ya oranges. When they are on sale. Pineapple not so much but I limit how much canned pineapple we use and prefer fresh. (ya I know it is shipped in using that stuff called petroleum but in truth we don't eat a lot of that either).
So now why am I feeling like one of the stupidest people on the planet?
Take a look at my canning lids. I love a good sale on lids and buy them when I find them. It never occurred to me that they would contain BPA but there it is in all its glory. Take a look.
The ubiquitous white lining on the inside of my canning lids and golly gee guess what I do with these things? Exactly what you aren't suppose to do. Expose them to heat. Especially pressure cooking! I don't have a whole lot of lids left thankfully because it is the beginning of the season right now and the stuff in my pantry is low so I am looking for and finding an alternative. They are out there and here is one.
Lehman's reusable BPA free canning lids
This is just one company and you may find some that are less expensive. Just Google BPA free canning lids and a lot of resources come up including some for prepping. The best part of these lids is that they are reusable and can be used with the screw band that you already have. You also wont be throwing them away, filling up your local land fill or polluting the environment when it eventually breaks down.
I'm sure some of you already know about this but for those who don't give me a shout out. I really need to know that I am not the last person on the planet that didn't know about this.
P.S.- I have been looking around about lids since I published this post. Do your homework. Some re-usable canning lids have problems with sealing failure and contain formaldehyde. They seem to be the one piece lids so far.