Is BPA Lurking in Your Kitchen? How to Avoid Toxins by Going Green - Green Tip #7


Howdy All!


This week’s tip came about as pure happenstance in my ongoing quest for ways to evict the extra 30 pounds that have claimed squatters rights on my body over the last decade! I came upon an article stating increased abdominal fat can be the result of hidden chemicals found in our food through bottles and canned food. The culprit, it stated, is Bisphenol A, or BPA. My curiosity lead me to research the notion further since I had no idea what this acronym means. What I learned is alarming!


BPA - What is it?

By now we’ve learned to consume fresh foods vs pre-packaged, ready made foods in order to avoid ingredients we can’t pronounce and unnecessary, often harmful, additives. I, personally, buy fresh or frozen foods (veggies) and have very little canned items in my pantry, with the exception of canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. One of my crowd pleasers is my homemade spaghetti sauce, in which the base contains the aforementioned items. Much to my dismay, I learned I may have been poisoning friends and family for 30 some-odd years!

BPA is an organic compound (sounds friendly enough, right?) used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. It is also used to line our canned goods in order to keep the food product from coming in contact with the metal of the can.

BPA is Nasty Stuff

Read what Wikipedia has to say:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A

The Dangers of BPA

Alarmingly, BPA has been linked to obesity, neurological issues such as ADHD, thyroid dysfunction, breast and ovarian cancer, reproductive malfunctions, immune deficiencies,heart disease and prostate cancer! It’s especially harmful to infants and small children as baby bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups and liquid formula contain high concentrations of BPA. In recent years the usage of BPA in food contact plastics has been banned or is in ban proposal stages, due to the classification as a toxic substance, by Canada, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Japan and several of theUnited States.

Plastics contain toxins.
Plastics contain toxins. | Source

Where BPA is Most Often Found

The highest concentration levels are in plastics marked “3” or “7”. When BPA is heated it becomes more toxic, which is why we are warned not to microwave food in plastic containers. Toxicity also increases the longer a can sits on the shelf. Highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes (!) intensify and create “heat”, leaching the poison into our foods.

BPA toxins can be avoided by looking at the number on the bottom of a plastic container or bottle. Avoid 3s and 7s! Additionally, some manufacturers are canning in BPA free containers. If the can doesn't say 'BPA free' right on the front, do not buy it! Also, read the plastic baggie boxes. Naturally, I ran to my pantry to read what I have on hand and was tickled to find the brand I use specifically states, in bold,“This product is not formulated with Bisphenol A (BPA)”. Whew! What a relief because I’m going to show you how to make and store your own tomato paste in this article.

Make your own pasta sauce.
Make your own pasta sauce. | Source

Homemade Tomato Sauce

By now my research has thrown me into a culinary frenzy. Will I never make spaghetti sauce again? (You’ll not see a jar of pre-made sauce in my fridge!) Au contraire, mes amis! Where there’s a green mindset, there’s a way!

It’s easy enough to replace the canned tomatoes with fresh. Simply boil fresh tomatoes for 30 seconds, immediately immerse them in ice water (to stop the cooking process) peel them and there you have it! Tomato sauce is fairly simple also: puree tomatoes, a little onion, green pepper, garlic and oregano in a blender, then thicken it by bringing the puree to a slow boil, removing any excess waterappearing at the top, until it’s achieved the desired consistency. Let it cool completely, package in an airtight plastic bag and put it in the freezer. You can break off pieces as needed and it’ll keep in the freezer for up to a year!

But how on earth do I replace canned tomato paste? Once again, I let my fingers do the walking and lo and behold, I found the solution, which I will now share with you!

Homemade Tomato Paste

Ingredients: Note the quantities can be adjusted

7 dozen Roma tomatoes, cleaned and diced

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Directions:

Place ingredients in large pot over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the contents have been reduced by half (about an hour), turn heat to medium low, stirring occasionally. Since tomatoes contain natural sugars, keep aneye that they don’t burn. Continue cooking until the tomatoes reach a red brick color (approx. 2 hours). Depending on how thick you want your paste, you can stop cooking anytime between reduction by half to three quarters. Use an immersion blender, or whisk briskly to break up the skins and seeds. (Or press through a sieve if you don’t want the solids.)

Spoon the paste into ice cube trays (each square yields 2 tablespoons) and freeze. Once frozen, remove from trays and place in (BPA free!) zip top baggie and put back into freezer until needed.


There you have it - a two-fold solution to a healthier and greener body!

Peace,

Bravewarrior


Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

Copyright © December 2012

All Rights Reserved


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Comments 33 comments

Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Thanks for sharing the tomato paste recipe. I've been canning tomatoes for sauce but usually end up having to buy past to thicken up my chili or other recipes that use canned tomatoes. I'll give this a try this summer when the Roma tomatoes are in season!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you for your comment, Kris. Coming from a scientist, I'm extremely flattered! I would imagine you could use any tomato of your preference in this recipe. It's worth a try!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Thanks for sharing the important info about BPA. I've recently become more conscious of it myself. I will share this.

Since this is Tip 7, I assume 1-6 are out there somewhere. I will track them down!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Deborah, I've actually written 21 Green Tips. However, they were posted on my work's website (I had my own area there). Once I started posting on HubPages and became more diligent in writing for myself, I stopped writing my green tips for work. Since I've not posted recently, my portion of the site has been taken down, which is good for me because each time I tried to post on HB, I got a duplication violation. I've attempted posting since and get the same notification occasionally, but I hope enough time has gone by now. I will attempt to post the complete series in the near future.

P.S. My signature to my work posts was "Howdy All!". Apparently, HB doesn't like that either - it constitutes a duplication, even tho the duplication is within my own posts!? Go figure. I guess I need to lose some of my personal touch..... much to my dismay.

At any rate, welcome to my Green Tips. I'm glad you enjoy them!


Golfgal profile image

Golfgal 4 years ago from McKinney, Texas

BPA humm something I will read more on. Thank you for the heads up. I love homemade spaghetti sauce...my go to in comfort food heaven. voted up and useful


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx for stopping by, Golfgal! I've actually been making spaghetti sauce from scratch forever, although I've used canned paste and tomatoes. What an education I got when I learned of the new white lined cans as being full of BPA! I let my sauce cook for 4 hours, so I presumed all was AOK. And now I've learned that adds poison to the potion! Lordy Goshen! Toxins and poisons and doctors, oh my!


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

It looks so simple to create your own tomato sauce, one of these days I'll do it:) I imagine it would be quite a delicious treat. Thanks for the recipe :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

You're welcome, Emilybee! Hopefully, I can send more your way.....


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Go green! I like it Bravewarrior. Thank you for sharing this info.

Voted up! and Shared!


vims003 profile image

vims003 4 years ago from india

nice..hub...it is simple to make a sauce!...useful informations about BPO....


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Glad you found it useful, unknown and vims. And thanx for sharing, unknown! I'm all about going green. I always have been actually. My mother is a from-scratch cook, which is how I learned. It's healthier and much more delicious. She even makes her own furniture polish, which I will share in an upcoming green tip.

Thanx for taking the time to stop by my little corner!


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

hi bravewarrior..this is already linked on my hub..thank you for these informations..


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

glad to oblige, spy!


Ausemade profile image

Ausemade 4 years ago from Australia

Interesting hub... I went straight to my pantry and looked at my SPC Baked Beans, canned tomatoes and canned coconut cream, but there was no “This product is not formulated with Bisphenol A (BPA)” tag on any of the cans. Looks like I have to give these up unless I can find alternative. I still assume tomato past in glass jars are ok? I have pinned this to my pinterest board http://pinterest.com/ausemade/natural-and-organic/


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx for pinning ausemade! I, too have not found cans that don't contain BPA. I would imagine buying at a health food store would probably result in seeing cans not formulated with BPA. But since I buy from the grocery store, I steer clear of cans altogether.

Yes, glass jars are fine.

Thank you so much for the visit and comments. I'll be sure to check your pinterest site!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 3 years ago from Yorkshire

Hi Bravewarrior

Interesting facts that I'm sure most people are not aware of.

At our house we make most things, bread, butter, jam, sausage all from scratch so that we know pretty much what we are eating. The only meat I buy is from a local farmer who slaughters his own home grown meats and is very keen on animal welfare. All his creatures are well cared for when they are alive and slaughtered with care and compassion.

nice hub voted up

regards

Tony


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ausemade, I have a hard time finding canned goods with that statement also, so I just avoid buying them. Glass is fine, yes. And thanx for the pin! Sorry this response is so late - I just received notification! :-(

Tony, good for you! I make most things from scratch also, although I do buy meat from the store. Thanx for stopping by!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

I had heard that canned tomatoes were not such a good thing, but did not know the exact reason. Thanks for filling me in! This one is getting bookmarked, pinned and shared. I'm sure all my friends would like to know how not to poison themselves in future! Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting. It's good to know about the plastics, too!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Grandmapearl, the problem I'm having is finding canned goods that don't contain BPA, so I just avoid them. I never bought many canned products to begin with, so the adjustment is painless.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

I was just talking about this subject concerning green living just this morning with a friend. Simple tips like this help make our planet a healthier place.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Yes they do, cynetbrown. They make us a healthier people, too!


beingwell profile image

beingwell 3 years ago from Bangkok

Great tip on healthy living. I'm always on the eye for wellness hubs!! Sharing this one, bravewarrior.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Very useful hub. Its scary to know how much harmful things we might have consumed so far without even knowing the consequences. To maintain good health in present time is a real hard thing as every where around us we without knowing we always face many hurdles in way of proper health in the name of business, time factor, easy eating out etc etc. This is a very nice and interesting hub. Votes all up and shared.


MargaritaEden profile image

MargaritaEden 3 years ago from Oregon

Very interesting and useful hub, thank you for this information!


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

A very good presentation. This is indeed something to be concerned about. Thanks for the heads up. voted up useful


vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

Thanks for the warning about BPA! And your unique recipe and storing of your homemade tomato paste. Voted up, useful and shared


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

beingwell, thank you so much. I'm glad you found this helpful!

Dghbrh, you are so right. Staying healthy is not always easy!

Margarita, thank you for stopping by!

Lovedoc, thanx for the votes!

Vibesites, thanx for the share. BPA is dangerous. Unfortunately, it's found in places you'd never think!


Elisha Jachetti profile image

Elisha Jachetti 3 years ago

THANK YOU for sharing this. I knew that there was some kind of coating in the canned goods, but didn't know that it contained BPA. It's a catch 22 though, because I've found in my research that dried beans as opposed to canned beans tend to have high mold counts which causes similar reactions. Perhaps it's a sign to avoid beans altogether?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

That's interesting, Elisha. I heard something about that happening to brown rice if you keep it too long, but I'd not heard that happening to dried beans. I'd better check my black-eyed peas!


Melinda Longoria profile image

Melinda Longoria 2 years ago from Garland, Texas

Thank you for sharing this information with me. I had no idea what BPA was. I've seen BPA free on products before but never even stopped to question what that meant. I don't understand why they don't just ban anything containing BPA altogether. Set a new standard for all food production companies to follow. Great hub! I will share with my other mom fans on my facebook fanpage. I am sure there are other moms out there like me who were unaware of these dangers. Sincerely, Mel


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Melinda, it baffles me why BPA is banned in other countries but not the US. It makes no sense. The evidence is there. Thank goodness consumers have barked loud enough for many manufacturers to start making BPA free products. By all means, spread the word. Thank you!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 7 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

Bravewarrior, I think you're onto something here about the plastic containers and their effects on our health. Back in the day everything was packaged differently, from toothpaste to ketchup. What if plastic is tainting our food? So many products are wrapped in plastic from rice, bread, inner linings of dry goods like Bisquick, eggs in Styrofoam containers, milk, soda, juices. Going back to glass containers sounds good to me.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 weeks ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, plastic IS tainting our foods and our bodies. Studies have been done. That's why it's so important to use only BPA free plastics, especially when microwaving. Glass is definitely the safer option.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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