Avoid Cancer-Linked Canned Foods This Thanksgiving

thanksgivingIs the possibility of BPA in canned foods on your mind while you're planning your Thanksgiving dinner this year? Today the Breast Cancer Fund released a report on BPA found in canned foods most of us use in Thanksgiving dishes. Some of you may want to hide the can openers after you see what they turned up.

Breast Cancer Fund already alerted us to the BPA they found in kids' canned foods. Those of you concerned about reducing your risk of breast cancer might want to take a look at this new report. Do you think it's all just hype, or is this something we should really be worried about? And if we avoid the canned foods, what can we swap in place of them?


BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical in the lining of food cans that has been linked to breast cancer. Researchers found that BPA levels in popular Thanksgiving-related canned foods were "all over the map." And here's something weird -- Ocean Spray actually says they do use BPA in their cans holding cranberry sauce, but the researchers couldn't find any in the sauce! Still, in half of the canned foods tested, they found "enough BPA to show adverse health impacts in lab studies" for a 120-gram serving.

Just glancing at the report got me thinking about what substitutions I might want to start using. I already make cranberry sauce from scratch (super easy!) and I like fresh or frozen green beans better than canned anyway. Pumpkin pie looked like it was going to be tough. I've made pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin before and it was amazing -- it was also a lot of work, though. And what on earth would you use to substitute for evaporated milk? It's not exactly like cream.

But relax, pumpkin-pie makers! The BPA levels in evaporated milk were all pretty low -- at least low enough for me. Canned pumpkin, on the other hand, is another story. I have never seen those Tetra Pak cartons of pumpkin mentioned in their no-can pumpkin pie recipe, but I've also never looked. I have seen frozen pumpkin puree.

Those of you with the green bean casserole tradition have some tough choices to make. Canned green beans aren't too bad, but that cream of mushroom soup comes out a little high. Maybe it's time to try a different green bean casserole recipe.

Are you worried about BPA in the foods you're cooking for Thanksgiving?


Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

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