Thursday, October 22, 2009

You're Doing a Great Thing, Canning Your Food, & Then...

Okay. It takes a lot to get me upset. But this did it. One good thing about the economic downturn has been the resurgence of preserving your own food. More gardens growing, more canning being done, healthier food being eaten. Sounds great right? Well it is great.

Now, do you know the dangers of BPA (bisphenol-A)? It's been in the news a lot lately. An estrogenic chemical. That is one that can imitate the hormone estrogen in your body. An endocrine disrupter. Well, you say, I have estrogen in my body, so what's a little more? Here is the story....estrogenic chemicals have been shown to increase risk of reproductive and developmental problems, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Why am I upset? Because canning lids are coated with BPA. That's right. The lids you use (Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest & Bernandin) are coated with BPA. Organic Gardening had an article about it in their Nov-Jan issue. Those of us who shun plastic because of the negative affects on our healthy bodies now have another worry. BPA leaches into food that touches it. Some companies that use it have discontinued using it due to the research & stores that stock items that are used for food or drink are also pulling the items from their shelves.

Will the makers of canning lids do the right thing & stop coating the lids with BPA? Probably not unless they hear from the people who use them. I suggest writing to the companies & let them know you want them to stop. People canned safely for years before they started coating the lids.

Organic Gardening suggested a company called Weck that makes glass jar lids & rubber rings to seal the jars instead of metal lids.

I don't know how many canning jars you have, but I have a lot. To replace them all would be a huge expense at a time when everyone is trying to make do. Pushing the companies to change the way they make the lids is the safe & economical way to go. Even giving us a choice. BPA-free lids.

Here is the contact information for the company that makes the lids for all of the above listed (Ball, etc.):

I think it would be a good idea to contact each individual company (since their name is on the product) to state your displeasure about how the lids are made & wanting a safe option.

Ball Corporation, Kerr & Bernandin are all owned by Alltrista now.

Golden Harvest is sold in WalMart and I can't find a website for them, but again, they are made by Jarden Corporation.

BPA is used in metal cans as a lining. One company who did the right thing & switched when they found out about the problems concerning it is Eden Foods. Thank you to them. We should be guaranteed a healthy, BPA-free product when we buy food. Shouldn't have to worry what feed ourselves, kids & grandchildren when we open a can. I'm sure big corporations hope we keep being too busy to notice what is in our food supply. Let's not let this happen.


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

When I can I only use glass jars (but I had no idea about this problem) but if You are worried about Your jars why not melt paraffin and pour that over the food before putting the lid on. Then there woun´t be any risk of contaminating the food with BPA.

It´s a bit scary that they doesn´t check things like this before doing it?!

Take care and have a great day now!

Fairy Footprints said...

I love your blog. Nice to meet you.


Sycamore Moon Studios said...

I had no idea! All that plum jam! UGH!

All Natural Mama said...

Auuugh. Great. Now, I wonder... when canning, the food sits 1/2 to 1" below the lid and isn't touching the food.... are we a bit safer?
Not saying I want BPA on the lids, and during the waterbath the food probably does boil up and touch the lids anyway. Bah!
Nearly 300 jars I've canned so far this season...

Anonymous said...

Nothing is safe or sacred anymore. Most of this crap is coming in from China. I stay away from things made in china, which is hard to do. I can't believe those lids to canning jars ar full of crap now. Gee Whiz - is there no way to keep our selves safe anymore? disgusting...debbie

Sue said...

I just read this today in O.G..
It's hard not to get frustrated. Seems we take 2 steps forward and 3 back everytime. We try to do right by our bodies, and everything seems to conspire against us. I'm ready to give up, say to hell with it, and just eat what I want. Seems to do no good trying to "behave".

Fairy Footprints said...

Howdy Barb and Steve, thank you for visiting me today and your wonderfully kind words. God bless you and thank you for your support on this journey of life we are all faced with.


JC said...

I don't can but my sister does. I'll let her know ...

jaz said...

oh crap.....all of that work with the peaches....ugh!!!

SkippyMom said...

Wonder if this used to be on the jar lids my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends used "back in the day"? I know BPAs are no-nos but I don't recall any of my relatives getting sick with diabetes or cancer - curious. Then again my kin cooked everything in lard and none of the were obese either. ;)

That is too bad. I hope they do something about it.

Barb and Steve said...

Christer...I'll check into that, thanks!
Fairy Footprints..welcome to the blog, nice to meet you too.
All Natural Mamma....I would think that the boiling process would contaminate the food due to the lid. Maybe freezing would be ok though (?).
It is disgusting Debbie, we all have to do our part to stop it.
Sue...don't give up. Trying to be healthy by eating right & keeping away from chemicals at least gives your body less of a "toxic load" to deal with.
Skippy Mom....I know they knew in the 30's that it was a problem to use on other things, but not sure when they started to use it on canning lids. Good question.

Kritter Keeper said...

my jaw dropped as i read your post! i cannot believe this idiot country allowing these greedy companies to do this type of thing! many thank you's to you for posting about this. i plan to post about it as well and hopefully other bloggers will follow your lead. will write as well...someone needs to tell the media!

PatQ said...

Hey, did you see that Weck is out of Crystal Lake??? Sounds like a fun road trip for us. I don't have any canning jars but have wanted to purchase them.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know this thanks for all the information -I canned quite a lot this summer.

Barb and Steve said...

HI Pat...raod trip would be great!

Giovani Pasini said...

Parabéns pelo seu blog!
Gostei dos textos!
A organização, como um todo, está muito boa!

Estou passando para divulgar o meu blog:

Falo sobre cultura e educação.
Se quiser prestigiar!

Grande abraço.
A partir de hoje sou seu seguidor...
Santiago, Brazil