Guess What’s Killing Us Now.

There’s lead in our children’s toys. Cadmium in our drinking glasses. Melamine in our dog food. And now? It turns out there’s BPA in well…practically everything.

Okay, not everything, but virtually all the canned food we eat sits in cans lined with the stuff. It also coats almost all of the receipts we handle on a daily basis.

So what’s the big deal? Well, BPA has been linked to increased insulin resistance and higher cancer rates. A worrying trend, to be sure. As a result, consumer watchdogs are advising everyone to stop using foods packaged in metal cans, imploring us to rely on fresh, local foods instead.

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a brick wall.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for using local, organically-produced foods whenever it’s practical. But a lot of the recipes I make? The “homemade” foods I cook so my family doesn’t end up eating McDonald’s Happy Meals and Hungry Man dinners? Require using things like tomatoes, beans,  pumpkin and sometimes even condensed soups – all of which are packaged in those pesky metal cans.

And I don’t know how things look in the produce section of your grocery store in January, but here in Indiana, it’s a bit bleak. Plus, the things that are local and organic? Are ungodly expensive.

So I’m sorry, but I refuse to get all up in arms about this one. After all, I’m guessing I’ve been eating from those BPA-lined cans all my life. Chances are it’s too late to undo the damage by now. Anyway, I’d rather die of cancer than Alzheimer’s (a very real threat in my family).

And as for Tori? Well, she’s living on scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese right now. Getting some tomatoes down her would be a blessing – even if they are laced with BPA.

That’s my take on it. How about you, dear readers? Will you be boycotting metal cans?

19 Comments on Guess What’s Killing Us Now.

  1. Jenn
    January 6, 2011 at 9:24 am (5 years ago)

    Bleh. I’m right there with you. I have tried to make baby food, but now that we’re onto table foods I’m going crazy. Even the ungodly expensive organic varieties are riddled with high sodium or sugar or something else equally bad for kiddos and adults alike. Sometimes I think, instead of all the riches in the world, I just want a personal chef so I don’t have to deal with wading through all the decisions, prep work, etc. by myself. As if parenting isn’t a daunting enough job as it is … now we have to worry about things the FDA should be protecting us from. Right? (off my soap box now …)

    • Amber
      January 6, 2011 at 10:11 am (5 years ago)

      A personal chef would be nice. But I think as long as you’re not feeding your family Big Macs and Cheetos 24/7, in the long run everything will work out okay.

  2. erica
    January 6, 2011 at 9:52 am (5 years ago)

    Okay, before you totally freak out… Don’t read too many websites called “Tree Hugger” or “Natural Mama” or “Earth Love.” Because they have an agenda… I mean, everyone does, but be careful with those especially.

    Here’s the deal. They are still not sure just how much BPA gets leaked into food via aluminum cans. They are still studying it, so getting worried over nothing is just not productive.

    Here’s what we can all do… watch our salt and fat intake. Research shows that diets high in fat and sodium can lead to obesity, cancer and heart disease.

    Drink lots of water – stay away from sodas, artificial sweeteners… get back to basics. A teaspoon of real sugar in coffee is what, 15 calories?

    Move more. Exercise is a great way to manage heart health, weight and other ailments.

    Stop obsessing over every. little. thing. You know if we are going to obsess about BPA, we might as well obsess about the chemicals in our new carpets. Painting the house. Using a cell phone.

    Here’s an idea, how about we concentrate on not texting and driving instead? How about we focus on vaccinating our children to keep them well? How about we focus on doing positive things rooted in research?

    Oy. Getting off soapbox now…

    • Amber
      January 6, 2011 at 10:10 am (5 years ago)

      That’s what I’m talking about. I read about it on BlogHer last night, and I was like, really? Give me a break. I’ll spend my time worrying about things I can control – like not feeding us Wendy’s 7 nights a week.

      • erica
        January 6, 2011 at 10:20 am (5 years ago)

        In other news… should I be getting an email when you reply to a comment of mine?
        Wondering about that on my site too… Do people know when I reply? I thought they did… but I didn’t get a notice that you replied to mine… Can you let me know if you get a notice that I replied to you on my site?

        • Amber
          January 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm (5 years ago)

          Yes you should be getting one. You’re not? That’s not good.

          I think I get them from you. I’ll comment and we’ll find out.

  3. Julie
    January 6, 2011 at 11:56 am (5 years ago)

    Amber –

    Phew! When I first started reading your post (a first-time visitor) I thought you were going to be warning me about the dangers of BPA and that if we were to be blog friends, I’d have to give up cans.

    What a relief to find out your kids eat mac n cheese like the rest of ours.

    We CAN be friends….(no pun intended with the whole “can” topic). Okay. Now I’m getting corny here. Must be all the cadmium, melamine, and BPA in my diet.

    I’ll be back. When I’m in a more lucid state of mine. Promise.


    • Amber
      January 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm (5 years ago)

      Yep, no worries, no granola crunchies here. Well, maybe just a few. I raise my toddler’s cup of Easy Mac in salute to you!

  4. Jen
    January 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm (5 years ago)

    Heck, no!

    Like you, will just keep on keeping on.

    The damage is probably done.

    Oh well.

    • Amber
      January 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm (5 years ago)

      Yep. Hell, the clothes we wear are probably killing us too. And the earth will probably warm itself back into primordial soup before we have to worry about it anyway, right?

  5. Stacey
    January 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm (5 years ago)

    I whole-heartedly agree with you. Now it’s BPA in cans. Next it will be something else. I try to not worry about the things I have no control over. Let’s face it, I’m not going to start making cream of mushroom soup from scratch. Hell, even if I did I’m sure there are hormones in the milk and shit on the non-organic mushrooms.

    • Amber
      January 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure everything is killing us in some fashion or another. Best not to worry about it.

  6. Rebecca
    January 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm (5 years ago)

    Boycott…no. But trying my best to find better alternatives…….working on it. We have moved from a can of corn to frozen corn (delicious and MUCH better than canned) We tried going from canned green beans to frozen and the frozen…..are icky. Frozen peas are okay….but meh……..

    • Amber
      January 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm (5 years ago)

      I don’t like most canned veggies, ’cause I grew up with frozen ones. But there are some things, like beans and tomatoes, that I can’t imagine getting any other way.

  7. jo
    January 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm (5 years ago)

    I agree, Rebecca, I’m trying to find alternatives. I buy soup in cartons or make it, tuna comes in pouches, I found mixed beans in a glass jar, and I also bought dried beans (I haven’t used these yet) that I guess just need to cook for 40 minutes. Many things I haven’t found alternatives for yet, but I figure I’ve at least cut down the amount of BPA we’re ingesting.

  8. Kim
    January 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm (5 years ago)

    It’s funny, but I’ve cut my consumption of canned foods done considerably for an entirely different reason…sodium. I however…will never give up my dinners that consist of a can of green beans (for myself, not my son, and only on a craving night!)…canned green beans rock!

    • Amber
      January 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm (5 years ago)

      I can’t join you with the canned green beans. They gross me out. Good for you on finding alternatives, though.

  9. Alexandra
    January 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm (5 years ago)

    every day, I read these things in the paper and am so grateful that we have been blessed with food allergies. My children can’t have preservatives, additives, etc. At first, I thought, “Ack! What a hassle! I’m going to go nutz!” But, now, we’re used to everythign having to be fresh and homemade. And, now, grateful.

    • Amber
      January 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah, that would be a mixed blessing. Maybe someday I’ll be better about the homemade goodness. Maybe.


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