Why Canned Soups Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

Why Canned Soups Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

The food processing world is reeling right now one day after a shocking new series of tests released by Consumer Reports revealed that many leading brands of canned foods contain (BPA)—a toxic chemical linked to health risks including reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.

BPA is used in the lining of cans and the toxin leaches from the lining into the food. According to Consumer Reports just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed scientific limits on daily exposure for children.

The federal government is currently studying the dangers of BPA and advocates are calling on the FDA to ban the use of BPA in food and beverage packaging by the end of the year. Companies in other industries, including Wal-Mart, Target, Nalgene, and Babies R Us have already made commitments to stop using BPA.

Consumer Reports’ tested 19 name-brand canned foods, including:

  • Soups
  • Juice
  • Tuna
  • Green beans

The results were discouraging. Nearly all of the tested canned foods were contaminated with the endocrine disrupting chemical (BPA), and this included organic canned foods as well. BPA was even found in some cans labeled “BPA-free”!

According to their estimates, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.

The Worst Offenders

In general, canned green beans and canned soups had some of the highest BPA levels of the foods tested. The worst offenders during their tests included:

  • Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans had BPA levels ranging from 35.9 ppb to as much as 191 ppb
  • Progresso Vegetable Soup had BPA levels ranging from 67 to 134 ppb
  • Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup had BPA levels ranging from 54.5 to 102 ppb

BPA and Your Immune System

That low-level exposure to BPA can be hazardous to your health has been established (but hotly debated and denied by industry) for over 10 years. According to Washington State University reproductive scientist Patricia Hunt,

“Exposure to low levels of BPA — levels that we think are in the realm of current human exposure — can profoundly affect both developing eggs and sperm.”

But fetuses and infants are not the only ones at risk. Researchers are also finding that BPA exposure can affect adults.

There are more than 100 independent studies linking the chemical to serious disorders in humans, including:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Early puberty
  • Obesity, and
  • Learning and behavioral problems

Industry is Putting Up a Fight

Consumer safety advocates are currently calling on the FDA to Ban the use of BPA in all food and beverage packaging. Industry, of course, is fighting back. They dismissed Consumer Reports’ findings above, stating that: “The use of bisphenol A (BPA) in can linings is both safe and vital for food protection.”

Personally, I believe BPA is neither safe nor vital for food protection.

Remember, you’re not just consuming traces of BPA from a can here, and a can there. You’re also exposed to BPA from a host of other sources. Not to mention other chemicals that act in a similar fashion as BPA. When added together, it can amount to a significant amount of damage, especially in children.

What Can You Do NOW?

It’s important to realize that you have a CHOICE, and by exercising it, you can influence industry to do the right thing.

For example, you can avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers. Choosing fresh foods is clearly your best option — ideally organic (to avoid exposure to pesticides), and grown locally (to reduce environmental impact and help your local economy).

In addition, Change.org has started a petition asking Campbell’s to live up to its new “nourishing people’s lives everywhere, every day” slogan, and be a leader of the industry move away from the use of BPA laden packaging.

Posted by: Dr. Mercola

Here is a quick and easy recipe to make your own fall soup….

 Autumn Veggie Soup

 Sweet potatoes, spinach, and edamame (fresh soybeans) make a tasty combination in this soup

Serving Size  : 4

   1      Tbs                 extra-virgin olive oil

   1                               small onion, chopped

   1                               garlic clove, minced

   4      cups                vegetable broth

   1                              small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

   1      cup                 frozen shelled edamame beans or garbanzo beans

   2      oz                     baby spinach (2 cups)

                       Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and

garlic, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until

softened, about 5 minutes. Do not brown.

2. Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Add sweet potato and

edamame, reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5

minutes. Stir in spinach and heat until wilted.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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