UPDATE 1/20/11 (see below)
Is it possible to enjoy pre-prepared tomatoes without BPA?
So far we've come up empty-handed in searching for BPA-free tomatoes. In fact, Eden Organic is the only company currently using a BPA-free lining for their any canned foods in the U.S. – and even they haven't quite perfected a sturdy enough lining to withstand the acidity of tomatoes. Eden Organic Beans are packed in steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel lining that does not contain BPA (oleoresin is a natural mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir).
Only one country in the world has drastically reduced the use of BPA (in their cans and other food packaging), and that's Japan. Between 1998 and 2003, Japan removed the standard BPA epoxy found in aluminum cans and replaced it with it with PET film lamination on the inner surface of cans. They also used an EXR paint that had much less BPA migration into food when necessary. Following their reduction and replacement moves, a team of assessors claim that virtually no BPA is found in canned foods and drinks in Japan now.
So where does that leave us right now?
For now we don't have the luxury of running to the store to grab pre-prepared tomatoes, because even BPA-free glass jars are capped with aluminum lids lined with BPA. Utne.com recently discussed an article from the Winter 2009-2010 edition of Organic Gardening. The magazine asked endocrine-disruptor expert, Frederick vom Saal, about the potential health hazards of BPA-lined glass jar lids. He suggested that if the lid doesn’t contact the food, it’s not a problem, but because that’s unlikely to be the case, he recommends using a BPA-free product.
The only option for truly BPA-free tomatoes is to can them yourself for off-season months – and there are only two possibilities available:
- Weck Canning Jars – they're 100% glass (body and lid) with a rubber sealing ring and no lining.
- Ball Canning/mason jars using Plastic Storage Caps – they're BPA-free, freezer grade plastic.
Our recommendation until BPA is removed
Canning tomatoes isn't possible for many of us, so we'll just have to prioritize while we wait for the very slow FDA to make a move. We recommend you eat fresh if possible and choose glass jars when necessary for a lower exposure to BPA.
UPDATE 1/14/10: We finally confirmed some BPA-free tomato options thanks to our awesome blog reader's suggestions! Read about it here.
UPDATE 1/20/11: Eden Foods Finds a Better Solution to BPA-lined Cans for Tomatoes and Sauces
P.S. This was yet another great Skribit suggestion from our readers! Looking for something else? Let us know by leaving your own suggestion on the right-hand side of our blog —->>>>