A question I often get asked is ‘are canned beans safe to eat?’. With the biggest concern being the presence of BPA.
I’m a huge fan of lentils, beans and especially chickpeas.
Sometimes I cooked dried legumes from scratch.
But I often turn to the super convenient canned option.
What is BPA?
The short answer is that BPA or ‘Bisphenol A’ is a chemical that has been used to make plastics since the 1950s.
If you’re into organic chemistry, it’s all over here on Wikipedia.
Should I be concerned about it?
To my mind, yes.
It’s not worth the risk.
Especially if you’re an infant or are pregnant or breast feeding.
It’s known that BPA can ‘mimic’ the action of the hormone estrogen in our bodies.
And it has been linked with obesity and problems with brain development.
My policy is that the less plastic comes in contact with my food, especially when it’s heated, the better.
How do I make sure my canned beans safe and don’t contain BPA?
There are 2 options here.
1. Look for cans that claim ‘BPA Free’ on the label.
More and more manufacturers are using BPA free cans.
Definitely a better option than cans containing BPA.
But there could be other plastics being used that are also harmful, they just haven’t been studied yet.
SO where possible I choose option 2…
2. Buy glass.
Canning is an old and very effective method of preserving food.
But it doesn’t actually have to be in a plastic lined can to work.
Glass is just as good.
I’ve recently found chickpeas, beans and lentils in glass jars in my health food store.
Yes they’re twice the price of cans. But worth the investment for me.
It’s easy to switch to glass for tomato products, just use passata instead of canned tomatoes like I do.
Now I just need to find someone making canned fish in glass!
More on food safety
- Why I Stopped Buying Canned Tomatoes +What I Use Instead
- Is High Temperature Roasting Safe?
- Is Peanut Butter Safe to Eat?
- How Do You Know When Food is Still ‘Safe to Eat’?
- The Pregnant Cook: 5 Tips for Safe, Healthy Lunches for Pregnant Ladies (and everyone else)
Have fun staying safe in the kitchen!