Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BPA free cans

I've been a little distressed lately about the existence of BPA in canned foods mostly because we tend to keep on hand a lot of canned beans for last minute meals, soups and the like. Because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of alternatives out there besides just buying dried versions or making things totally from scratch I've been playing the head in the sand thing.

Well, today I went food shopping for the week and walked by the Hispanic food section and something caught my eye. It was a can of Organic Mexican beans and rice which I thought was strange enough on its own. And, when I was looking at the description on the back of the can I noticed the statement claiming that Eden Foods canned beans are BPA free.

From the Eden website:
Eden Organic Beans are packed in steel cans coated with a baked on oleoresinous c-enamel lining that does not contain bisphenol-A (BPA). (Oleoresin is a natural mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir). These cans cost 14 percent more than the industry standard cans that do contain BPA. This costs Eden $300,000 more a year. To our knowledge Eden is the only U.S. company that uses this custom made BPA-free can.

According to this post, Eden Foods requested BPA be removed from their cans 10 years ago after concern of having it in their packaging. However, Eden Foods' tomato products are still packaged in the industry-standard BPA-containing cans since the FDA hasn't approved any other type of processing for highly acidic foods.

This is the first time I've seen that claim on canned food and I wanted to know if anyone else has found other manufacturers that use BPA free cans? Any other gems out there?


Anonymous said...

No help here. I was hoping you were going to post about something other than Eden, as Eden is the only one I know about. I hope more producers follow suit.

Renee said...

I saw an article on BPA in the paper a week or two ago, on testing canned goods. The "BPA free" canned tuna actually had a higher level than a lot of the other items. Here's a link:,0,6226292.story

Jordan said...

Yeah, Eden is the brand I use to use, but my local grocery store stopped carrying them. I mostly do the head-in-the-sand thing, or else avoid cans altogether (my broke-student sensibilities rebel at how much more expensive canned beans are than dried).

JessTrev said...

I saw the same article Renee did -- and the canned food had BPA whether they claimed to be BPA free or not. We have been avoiding canned food for about 2 years, esp. tomatoes, soups + beans (those are the 3 we used to rely most heavily on). I occasionally still buy sardines/tuna or random stuff like coconut milk that's hard to find otherwise. Fairly annoying, imho, that the answer to enviro health tends to always be to make everything from scratch. Sometimes I like to make every bit of a meal myself. But sometimes we just need a quick meal! Reminds me of that joke "Alice Waters frozen dinner" I saw a while back (maybe from the Onion) that consisted of a terrine and some smashed garlic. ;)

Farmer's Daughter said...

We don't eat a lot of beans, and when we do I tend to use dried ones.

I saw an article a month or so ago about BPA being linked to erectile dysfunction, so I'm hoping now the politicians will pay attention (since the breast cancer link obviously wasn't enough...)

In our state (CT) BPA has been outlawed in baby products, so it's easy to find BPA free (labeled at least) items like utensils, bottles, etc. I'm hoping that other items will follow suit!

Anonymous said...

It's not that surprising to find BPA in products not canned in BPA - there's an awful lot of BPA in the environment. Tuna, especially, are pretty high on the food chain, that's why they're so bad for mercury too.

I buy Eden brand when we buy canned beans, because of the BPA - but this is one more chance for me to suggest you get a pressure cooker & a Lorna Sass cookbook (I suspect she worries about BPA, too - her Boston Brown Bread specifies to use a can from Eden beans). 20 minutes for unsoaked black beans in the pressure cooker.

Brande said...

Yup, Eden is the only one I know of too. My husband used to manage a local natural foods store and a few years ago he and I attended United's Natural Foods Expo East and spoke with the representatives of Eden. They were pretty peeved because they had recently been misquoted in an article about BPA concerns as *having* BPA in their cans. They told us the same thing, that they actually don't and that it costs them a lot to package the way they do, and that they're committed to consumer safety. Now they're the only company we buy canned beans and such from.

Sonja said...

I don't know how much freezer space you have, but I cook large batches of the dried beans and freeze the excess in smaller quantities. They are a snap to add to things then, just thaw them or even add frozen.

Lisa Z said...

I like Eden beans not only b/c of the lack of BPA in the cans, but also because they soak their beans and cook them with kombu, all of which is known to make beans more digestible. We do the same when we make them from scratch using dried beans and I wouldn't compromise nutrition levels by cooking beans in a pressure cooker, unsoaked. Which is a reason why having canned beans around when we're in a hurry really helps, and in the long run it's still a cheap meal.

A couple of years ago I looked up another bean we buy regularly, Bearitos Refried Beans, and their website said they were canned in BPA-free cans. This was a couple of years ago, and I can't verify it for sure, but I still buy those beans b/c of what I found when researching...Made by and for Hain Celestial Group.

DiElla said...

When I first clicked on I thought this said bra free and thought oh no Crunchy is going to challenge us to go braless for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, not so sure the BPA-free beans are really BPA free. They aren't, according to Consumer Reports. Wrote about it in the discussion section of Fake Plastic Fish not long ago.

From the Consumer Reports article:

"We tested two products that their manufacturers claimed were packaged in BPA-free cans and found the chemical in both of the foods. Although tests of the inside of the cans found that the liners were not epoxy-based, Vital Choice's tuna in "BPA-free" cans was found to contain an average of 20 ppb of BPA and Eden Baked Beans averaged 1 ppb."

Crunchy Chicken said...

FPF - As Anonymous mentioned, is it possible that the food itself is inherently the reason for the BPA levels and not the can?

I don't know how prevalent it is in general in not only the population, but in the food supply...

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Perhaps they should test homemade baked beans, as Anonymous suggested, and see if they have BPA in them too. Sorry I missed that comment.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I don't buy many food in cans with the exception of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Looks like I'm totally screwed on those.

My understanding (which may or may not be correct) that frozen food in plastic packaging is less likely to leach. I use frozen vegetables on occasion. I have to bag dog waste so the bags at get a reuse before headling to the landfill. Which my city is now tapping for methane to run their vehicles and to make electricity turbine.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

With three small children, this has been a big concern of mine. I bought an expensive Sigg waterbottle for my toddler only to learn later on that they were lining their bottles with BPA. :-(

We've given up almost all canned food here. With a little planning and a crock pot, I've been able to keep a fairly steady supply of tomatoes, cooked beans, and other typically canned items on hand.

Erin Ely said...

I'm the same as many others try to avoid canned food most of the time... it's the tomatoes that get me.. what about aseptic packaging? Does anyone know is their BPA in that?

Bucky said...

Hate to hear about tomatos. Damn. Wondering if imported tomatoes are BPA free? Italian canned tomatos are great. Perhaps Europe is ahead of the US on this? They usually are.

I remember a few years ago there was a company selling "canned" tomatos in old-fashioned canning jars. Don't know if they still are.

Anonymous said...

I called Trident Seafoods (they sell many canned fish products under several brand names). They said the Rubenstein line of salmon does not contain BPA in the cans. The rep said this is because BPA is not allowed in Europe and that is where their biggest customer base is.

Anonymous said...

From Edward and Sons, Native Forest products:
As of July 28, 2009, we have switched production of the following items to cans specified to be BPA free. Independent testing of these cans has not detected the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) or Bisphenol A Diglycidyl Ether (BADGE) [Note: BPA testing detection limit =0.2 parts per million and BADGE detection limit = 1 parts per million].

1. Organic Coconut Milk (Classic and Lite)
2. Organic Coconut Water
3. Organic Pineapple (all varieties)
4. Organic Tropical Fruits (Mango Chunks, Papaya Chunks, and Tropical
Fruit Salad)
5. Organic Mandarin Oranges
6. Organic Peaches
7. Organic Asian Pears
8. Organic Baby Corn
9. Organic Mangosteen
10. Organic Rambutan
11. Quartered Artichokes
12. Asparagus (Cuts & Tips and Green Spears)
13. Organic Bamboo Shoots
14. Organic Hearts of Palm

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue this process.

Joanna Freet
Edward & Sons Trading Co., Inc.
805-684-8500 x103
805-684-8220 fax

Unknown said...

IPM Foods process all products in BPA free packages.