It would be, if it weren’t for this one thing…. 

Is canned food healthy? So many healthy foods are conveniently packaged in cans. Canned foods are affordable, convenient and don’t spoil easily. However, it is very likely that you are eating some decidedly unhealthy ingredients along with your corn, vegetable soup and tomatoes! 

You might think that metal cans would be a no-brainer in terms of plastic packaging. But did you know that cans of food are coated with plastic on the inside?  

Is canned food healthy ?

You can tell by the whitish plastic coating on the inside of the walls and lid. The outer wall of a can is tin-plated sheet steel or aluminum. The plastic layer is supposed to prevent changes in taste and to prevent the heavy metal tin from passing from the sheet metal of the can into the food. However, this so-called epoxy plastic layer contains bisphenol A (BPA)!  

By the way, aluminum beverage cans are also coated with plastic on the inside.

What is BPA? 

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most commonly used synthetic chemicals in the world. BPA is difficult to avoid completely because it is present in a frightening number of everyday items. It is contained, for example, in plastic tableware, parking tickets, plastic pacifiers, food and beverage cans, but also in plastic dental fillings, hygiene products, toiletries, CDs and DVDs, household electronics, eyeglass lenses, sports equipment and moe.  
  • BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy paints. It has been detected in air, dust, surface water and seawater. In humans, BPA is found in blood and urine.  
  • It has long been suspected that bisphenol A (BPA) is harmful to humans and animals because of its hormone-like effects. Some manufacturers therefore use BPA substitutes. But unfortunately, the indication on the label “BPA-free” does not mean that the substitutes used are healthier.   
  • BPA substitutes can be just as or even more harmful to human health. These substances are suspected of disrupting the functioning of our hormones, especially those related to metabolism. Unfortunately, the substitutes have usually not been adequately studied for their safety. 

Cans are also ecologically questionable 

An enormous amount of energy is used to produce a can from aluminum. Even if the can is sent for recycling, which is only partially possible, this is unacceptable from an ecological point of view. Tinplate cans, on the other hand, can be recycled well, but usually lose their tin coating during recycling process. 

In today’s world, it is impossible to completely avoid industrial chemicals because they are in our food, water and air. Nevertheless, there are things we can do to better protect our bodies and our environment from this toxic hazard. 

Canned foods in glass jars are a great option

At home, these jars can be used over and over again. For example, boil down homemade applesauce or store other foods or spices in them. This turns those disposable jars into a reusable jar.  

 

Our tips: 

  • For the sake of your health and the environment, do not use metal cans or beverage cans if possible.
  • Never heat food directly in a coated can. Due to the heat, more BPA is transferred into the food.
  • Crumpled or heavily dented cans should be thrown away, because tin and BPA can pass into the food due to the damage of the protective layer and possibly the tin is already rusted. Thus, the shelf life is no longer given.
  • Food from opened cans should not be kept in the can for two reasons: First, they spoil faster in an opened can than in a closed glass jar. And secondly, no questionable substances then pass from the can into the food. Decanted canned food can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days. 

Check out this delicious Sauerkraut, that keeps for a long time even without canning.

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