Storing green smoothies: BPA in plastics [part 1 of 2]
Dear Green SmoothieGirl: What should I store my green smoothie in? I’ve read that certain chemicals in bottled water and other plastic items leach into my food.
Answer: A government study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C. recently uncovered a surprising (and unnerving) finding. The plastic lining used by manufacturers of metal food cans have more bisphenol-A (BPA) than plastic containers do. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is linked by research to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and neurological problems for babies exposed in utero, among other things. Cans that test to have the highest BPA levels are chicken soup, infant formula, and canned pastas. And, the FDA says the average American eats about 17 percent canned foods. The longer a can sits on the shelf, the more leaching occurs in the food. And when a container is heated, more chemical is released into the food as well.
What can we do about this?
I believe that eventually the BPA will be removed from cans. But in the meantime, the first tip is that Eden Foods, a maker of organic items found mostly in health food stores, has BPA-free cans, if you can afford a pricier product.
Second, we can make more of our own food (like soups and beans) and keep cans around for only food storage and emergencies. Cook the beans you use a lot and freeze them in 2-cup amounts for later use. Some foods you buy in cans can be purchased in glass jars (spaghetti sauce, for instance).
Third, store your green smoothies in glass pint or quart jars. I have always done this. The downside is that if you drop it, glass shatters. It’s not as convenient as some drink containers for taking in the car and putting in the car’s drink holder, either. You can obtain stainless steel containers, too. With either of those options, you will have no chemicals leaching into your food. And keep in mind that the best way to keep your body removing toxins like BPA from sources we just can’t control is . . . to drink green smoothies. The insoluble plant fiber in greens mops up several times its own weight in toxins and removes it from the body.
Fourth, you can google “BPA free” and buy baby bottles and other items free of toxic synthetics.
More tomorrow about what to store green smoothies in, plastics, and the Sheryl Crow email.