BPA-free Canned Food Options

BPA-free Canned Food Collage

We’ve talked extensively about BPA-based epoxy linings commonly used in aluminum cans, especially in regards to finding BPA-free tomatoes.  It was a difficult task because of their acidic nature, but we finally found Pomi.  Not even Eden Organics, the leader of the pack, has found a way to go BPA-free in the canned tomato category just yet.

During our tomato treasure hunt, we gathered a decent sized list of all BPA-free canned foods currently available.  Hopefully this list will continue to grow with the possibility of new BPA-free lining alternatives like this one made from sugar.

BPA-free Canned Food Options

  • Bionaturae organic canned tomatoes are now BPA-free and labeled as such (no guessing which is which!).  They also offer Tomato Paste and Strained Tomatoes in glass jars only with lids that are lined with a BPA and PVC-free epoxy.  All of their products are  grown on their farm, packed fresh, and never stored in plastic or repacked.
  • Jovial organic tomatoes are packed in glass with BPA-free lining in the aluminum lid (a gummy PVC ring is used around the edge of the jar to create a tight seal, but doesn’t come in contact with the food).
  • Farmer’s Market (all products are BPA-free)
  • Eden organic beans (all of them, including chili, rice & beans, etc.).  UPDATE 1/20/11:  Eden Foods Finds a Better Solution to BPA-lined Cans for Tomatoes and Sauces
  • Trader Joe’s canned corn, beans, meat products, canned fruits and vegetables (including tomatoes, and organic pumpkin (as of 2012) but NOT mandarins, hatch chilies, artichokes, organic baked beans).  All canned soups and stews are still in BPA lined cans
  • Vital Choice Seafood (salmon, albacore tuna, sardines and mackerel;  they test for all endocrine disruptors, not just BPA)
  • Muir Glen tomatoes (We confirmed with Muir Glen in December 2011 that all of last season’s tomatoes have been transitioned to BPA-free cans)
  • Aseptic packaging (like Tetra Pak cartons/bricks) is also BPA-free.  These packages are made of 70% paperboard combined with aluminum foil and thin layers of LDPE (low density polyethylene) for the food contact surface.  Read about BPA-free Pomi tomatoes in aseptic packaging here.
  • Oregon’s Choice (6oz lightly salted albacore and the company is working toward going BPA-free with their crab and shrimp too)
  • Wild Planet (5oz skipjack tuna and its 5oz albacore tuna)
  • Native Forest/Native Factor (all canned foods, including the only canned coconut milk that uses a BPA-free can – which happens to the brand I’ve been using for years – yeah!)
  • Crown Prince (see full list here)
  • Hunt’s Tomatoes (plain tomatoes only) – they just introduced their sauce in a 33.5oz tetra pak carton too (we’ve seen them in major stores as of 10/10/12)
  • Nature’s One Organic powdered baby formula

Fresh produce and dried beans are still your best bet.  Frozen produce is a good second choice because they’re usually harvested when ripe, heated for a shorter time and immediately frozen.

P.S.  We recently spoke to Two Guys in Vermont and they make tomato products that come in glass jars and although the lids do contain BPA though there is a lining that separates between.

P.P.S.  You won’t believe it, but Campbell’s is going BPA-free too!  Read more about it here.

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  • Kim

    I just read the statement from Amy's Kitchen on willystreet.coop and was shocked that they are somewhat hiding behind statements from various governmental authorities saying that BPA is safe in small amounts and need not be of concern to populations other than infants and small children. They did say they are researching safer alternatives, but I still sent them an e-mail letting them know I don't appreciate the cop-out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bridget-Cabibi-Wilkin/670174364 Bridget Cabibi-Wilkin

    In Walmart today, there were little cartons of Del Fuerte Tomato Sauce for $.32 for a 7.4 oz. tetrapak. Of course it has salt & spices & stuff, but no HFCS and no BPA at least.
    So, now that I've ordered my 2 cases of Pomi strained & chopped tomatoes, I'm moving on to thinking about pineapple. The kids love canned pineapple. I looked today and the only thing that wasn't a can was Del Monte in plastic jars, which certainly can't be better than cans. I'm thinking that pineapple must be the next most acidic canned food, so does anyone have any ideas on that front? I haven't yet tried thawing the frozen kind – I suppose that's an option, but they like the juice (not syrup) that the cans are packed with, too.

    • Rachel, MN

      What about canned pineapple from Native Forest? Maybe research THIS website and see. BC I think I just saw that Native Forest is all good.

    • John Sanders

      I saw the Del Fuerte boxes also at HEB and was thinking it adds a smaller box size to choose from in addition to the larger Pomi boxes. Looking at the ingredients I noticed citric acid which I assume is for a preservative and that they are not UHT like Pomi. I also noticed food coloring for what its worth.

  • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

    Hi Bridget,

    That's great news about the Del Fuerte Tomato Sauce!

    As for the pineapple in plastic containers, if it's in LDPE, HDPE or PP I would feel pretty comfortable with it at this point. On the other hand, if it's made from PET (#1) plastic, I would shy away from it in case the acid causes some leaching of antimony or other plastic components.

    I personally buy fresh pineapple when it's in season, prepare and freeze it. It defrosts okay with a little water added to make a kind of juice, although it loses some if its crisp texture.

    Any other ideas out there?

    • Jen Monton

      Trader Joe’s has frozen pineapple in bags :)  It’s pretty good too, and affordable, which is always a plus.

      • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

        That’s great news Jen, thanks!  The first Trader Joe’s in the Kansas City area just opened, so I’m excited to check it out.

  • walletmouth

    Actually, Trader Joe's cans most likely *do* contain BPA. While researching this topic for an upcoming post on my own blog, I met a woman who has had multiple interactions with Trader Joe's customer service reps re BPA. The first person told her TJ's did not use BPA in any of its cans. The second person said that if she was concerned about BPA, she should avoid canned food. The third said TJ's cans do contain BPA and that they had “never denied” using it. It makes sense when you think about how low their prices are — BPA is most likely the cheapest option out there, which is why the industry at large doesn't want to switch.

    I can put you in touch with this woman if you want, and she'd probably be happy to forward you the emails that she has from Trader Joe's showing their inconsistent answers.

  • walletmouth

    Uh oh, my mistake: rereading those emails, the final TJ's rep did say that corn, beans, fish, poultry, and beef had BPA-free cans. According to the same email, TJ's canned tomatoes, tomato sauce & paste, soups, chili, and stew *do* contain BPA.

    However, the mixed messages still give me pause, and I no longer buy canned food from Trader Joe's.

    • Jen Monton

      I think they’ve gotten better about educating their CS people about this issue.  I have had recent luck with them giving me some good answers.  At my store, I spoke to the manager who had a crew member call corporate to tell me which canned tomatoes are safe.  The 28 oz TJ’s brand Organic Tomatoes diced in tomoao juice are safe along with the no salt added version that is in a smaller can.  The tomato paste and tomato sauce both have BPA in the cans, so those are not safe.  This is directly from them, and their answers have been the same to me both in email communication and in person at the store.  I suggested to them that they mark their tags with “BPA Free” so that other concerned consumers could easily pick out the safe options.

  • deme08

    Organic foods is increasingly becoming popular because more and more people are now health conscious. We should always strive for a longer and healthier life. Thanks for the recommendations.

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  • Different Maggie

    Apologies if this has been covered before, but after reading this: http://thesoftlandingbaby.com/2010/02/19/antimo
    …I'm not sure if the tetra packed tomatoes are supposed to still be a safer alternative to jarred and canned?

    This whole plastics thing is so overwhelming – been checking our medications (phthalates in coatings), trying to find safe alternatives to the gallon water jugs we use… really don't want to imagine a life without tomato products!

  • Different Maggie

    Another resource for tetra pak tomato sauce: http://shop.vendio.com/worldeats/store.html

    Do a search in the upper left for “pasta sauce”. The brand is “Cucina & Amore”. Sold in 500 g packages singly or in batches of 4 or 12.

    Scroll down on any listing page to see shipping info – items ship from California and there are flat rate options which seem to allow savings. They accept check, money order or PayPal.

  • Different Maggie

    Sorry for multiple posts – meant to mention that I'm finding some tetra paks for tomato-based Mexican sauces from Knorr. Not sure if people may be able to find them in local supermarkets, but they are online: http://www.mymexicanpantry.com/

    Del Fuerte available online: http://www.mexgrocer.com/4021.html

    Hormel Foods is the US distributor for Del Fuerte, so they are the ones providing it to Walmarts. You can use their product locator: http://www.hormelfoods.com/brands/productLocato… to see if any is carried close to you. I would need to drive about 30 miles – would be willing to do that, and would also be willing to break my usual boycott of Walmart, too!

    Hormel also has an online store – http://hormelfoods.elsstore.com/ – no Del Fuerte products available there now, but they encourage people to let them know if they would like to see a product available…

    Think it is a good thing to let as many food retailers, distributors and producers know that toxicity in packaging is a growing concern, and a business opportunity for those willing to meet it head on.

    Cheers!

  • skh203

    This article from the Washington Post makes it clear how daunting the task of removing BPA from our food chain (in particular our canned foods) is. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ar…. The contents of a can labeled “BPA free” may still contain BPA (i.e. Eden Foods Baked Beans). There are also suggestions about reducing your family's exposure to BPA on the sidbars of the article. I recommend doing your own research – and buying fresh food.

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  • http://plasticintheteeth.blogspot.com David Resseguie

    I think it is also important that we ask these companies who claim to be using BPA-free can linings, receipt paper,etc. what chemicals they ARE using. I recently wrote General Mills and asked the what their BPA alternative will be in the Muir Glen tomato products – they would not tell me, saying that info is proprietary. I also found out that a thermal receipt paper company claiming to use BPA-free paper was using an almost identical substance, BPS, in their paper instead.

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  • Trudy

    I’m a little late to this discussion, but I found this post when looking for BPA-free canned food. The links have been helpful.

    I received an e-mail from Emergency Essentials (www.beprepared.com), and they say that their cans are BPA-free. Their food is dehydrated and dry-pack canned instead of the wet-pack canning used in store-bought food, so it is different than we’re used to. However, it’s another option out there.

  • http://learningtales.wordpress.com Tracy

    I have to say I have never liked canned food. To me it always had a weird taste so I avoided it when possible. But it is nice to know there are options available that are bpa free for those times when something is not available fresh or frozen.

  • http://www.actingbalanced.com acting balanced mom

    I have to say that I think we should move back to glass jars for everything… I've gone back to the way my mother did it and bought fresh in season and either canned or frozen everything for the season… just found your site through mel at mamabuzz… and glad to join the discussion

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  • Chris

    We found Organic Strained Tomatoes in a tall glass jar container. Brand is ‘bionaturae’ made in italy. It is ‘USDA’ organic, and QAI certified organic. no salt added.
    http://www.bionaturae.com It was in our local grocery store in Chicago.

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  • Anonymous

    My disabled son, on SSI, suffers prostatitis and recently had an operation for kidney stones. For years, he ate fruits, vegetables, beans and soups from cans. Like many on SSI, he goes through maybe 100 cans of food a month.
    Recently, after learning that BPA actually causes the ailments he suffers, my son stopped eating canned foods. Within weeks, all his symptoms–painful symptoms he has suffered for ten years–have completely disappeared. The reason? He is no longer ingesting BPA.
    Thousands of impoverished people in the US are homeless, in shelters or group homes, with no ability to store food in refrigerators or cook food on stovetops. They are forced to eat out of cans at each meal. Shelters serve food daily to the hungry from cans donated in canned food drives. The resulting physical problems caused by BPA cost the taxpayer millions of dollars to treat.
    I believe our FDA is complicit in harming the health of the poor by not banning BPA. Compounding the problem, the government then siphons taxpayer money to help the poor with resulting prostate and kidney operations, hospitalization, and medication.
    I want to know why the FDA permits a chemical like BPA to be used in food containers when it is so dangerous. I want to know why the FDA doesn’t ban BPA now that it is known to cause widespread medical problems.
    The chemical companies are in bed with the lawmakers and the FDA. They are mercenaries committing genocide, and the FDA is the accomplice.
    My family has vowed not to eat canned foods until BPA is banned.
    What else can we do?

    Carol Green, Retired California Teacher
    greneyes46@aol.com

  • http://www.dailytrader.com/ Wholesale suppliers

    Recommended product is not bad and many peoples are used different organic food and it could be really beneficial. Thanks for your nice post.

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  • http://wholefoodsconnection.com/coconutwaterjuice.html Coconut water juice

    Coconut milk tastes so amazing!

  • Geoff

    It is sad to hear this and the fact that a lot Mexican food requires the use of packaged tomatoes. I guess nothing beat the real thing.

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  • Lydiamallen85

    Thank you for all of the information, I wish we had a Trader Joes nearby.  You listed Hunts plain tomatoes, but could you be more specific? i.e. plain sauces, diced, etc.  THANK YOU!

  • Krissy

    Eden now sells tomato products in amber glass.

  • Webbergirl

    What about the plastic bags that dried beans usually come in? Do those contain endocrine disrupters?r

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

       Hi Webbergirl – the bags used for packaging frozen fruits and veggies are usually made from polyethylene which is considered a safer plastic.

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  • BB

    I have a question about Hunt’s. Above it says that Hunts plain tomatoes are BPA free. Are we talking about Whole Peeled or any unseasoned canned tomato such as chopped, strained, etc.
    Thanks!

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  • olivia

    hi, do you happen to know about BPA content in Trader Joe’s sardines and also their coconut milk?  Thanks!

    • Teresa

      I asked in the store a few weeks ago and they showed me a list from the corporate office that said the sardine can has BPA, but the coconut milk can is BPA free.

  • Paul

    American Tuna and the American Pole & Troll Albacore Fishery supplies BPA free products:

    http://www.americantuna.com

  • Hippie_Mama

    It’s maddening that we have to research this ourselves. I wish the powers-that-be would just ban stuff before it even makes it to the market (hello, GMO!) so that we don’t have to choose between crappy products and crappier products. Thankfully, my family eats mostly homemade and has been canned-good free since 2007ish, but it’s frustrating to say the least. A person should be able to go to the store and grab something off the shelf and not have to worry about cancer-causinst substances being in the packaging.

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  • http://GreenGlobalTravel.com/ Green Global Travel

    Thanks for sharing these BPA free products! Will be on the look out for them when I’m grocery shopping next! 

    • http://thesoftlanding.com Alicia

      You betcha!  It makes life a little bit easier when you have a list to work from, especially when nothing’s labeled.

  • Delly77

    i was desperate to find canned pumpkin bpa-free, and finally found this company http://www.farmersmarketfoods.com/ which seems to have bpa-free cans.  I haven’t followed up yet to see if it only applies to some products or not yet, though.  They don’t seem to be on your list, so I thought I’d mention it.

  • beaglejazz

    I love your blog and get a ton of info from it- but wonder if you’ve done any research regarding what people are using instead of BPA? I talked the the muir glen folks (knowing that tomatoes are seasonal so only pack in the fall) and they said their new liners are vinyl based. A good friend who is a chemical engineer said he didn’t trust vinyl anymore than he does BPA… any thoughts?

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  • AJ

    Sustainable Seas tuna products are BPA free also!

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  • Ana

    Does anyone know if is safe to use plastic containers that are BPA free

  • lara

    Muir Glen tomato cans – while BPA free – use a lining made of something called vinyl-triazine. This is according to the standard level of information they are willing to publically release (I called them week of 10/8/2012).

    I haven’t been able to turn up much data on what vinyl-triazine is, let alone it’s safety. Muir Glen assured me that this new lining meets all FDA safety standards, which of course doesn’t mean anything since BPA is FDA approved and deemed safe.

    Glass tomatoes or no tomatoes. We have to get better at asking – “if not BPA, then what?”

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  • havanad

    I want to make a correction to your ONLY coconut milk that uses a BPA- Free can comment: Natural Value is another brand that has BPA free liner for Coconut Milk. Another bonus to this brand is that they do not add guar gum to their coconut milk. AND it’s generally less expensive than organic alternatives

  • Kathy McKeever

    But what about BPS? I’ve heard that has replaced BPA.

  • Irena

    Do you know if Bravo spagetti sauce has BPA in the new plastic bags?

    • http://thesoftlanding.com/ The Soft Landing Sisters

      I’m afraid we haven’t researched Bravo spaghetti sauce, but the chances of any plastic bag having BPA in it is slim. BPA is typically found in hard, shiny plastics and epoxy linings (in cans). ~Alicia

  • Tr

    What do you think of the bpa-free plastic bag for Lucini pasta sauce & the bpa-free all plastic jar for Scarpetta pasta sauce— do they still leach chemicals? Is a glass jar with a bpa/PVC lid better? Also, does the brand Yellow Barn by Good Boy Organics use bpa, PVC or bad toxins in their glass jar lids- I can’t find any info on it? Which of these 3 would you buy for a toddler?

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