Folks watching their sugar or calorie intake should do away with syrup-packed fruit in favor of fruit packed in water or juice. As for canned veggies, a 60-second rinse under running water removes about 40 percent of the sodium they’re packed in, but opting for fresh or frozen is the best way to reduce unnecessary sodium.
The bad news? Other than ditching canned foods altogether, there may not be a surefire way to ensure lower BPA intake when eating them. From time on the shelf to handling and storage, researchers have yet to figure out why BPA leaches into food— though some research suggests extreme heat (above boiling temperature) may leave more BPA behindFactors influencing the migration of bisphenol A from cans. Kang, J.H., Kito, K., Kondo, F. Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University, Kibanadai-Nishi, Gakuen, Miyazaki-shi 889-2192, Japan. Journal of Food Protection, 2003 Aug;66(8):1444-7.Migration of bisphenol A (BPA) from can coatings into a fatty-food simulant and tuna fish. Munguía-López, E.M., Gerardo-Lugo, S., Peralta, E., et al. Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A. C., Apdo. Postal 1725, Carret. a La Victoria km 0.6, Hermosillo, Son., 83000 México. Food Additives and Contaminants, 2005 Sep;22(9):892-8.Migration of bisphenol A from can coatings–effects of damage, storage conditions and heating. Goodson, A., Robin, H., Summerfield, W., et al. Pira International, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7RU, UK. Food Additives and Contaminants, 2004 Oct;21(10):1015-26.. Salty and oily foods might also absorb more BPA than sugary foods, one study found, while another suggests the longer foods are stored, the more BPA is released into the foodFactors influencing the migration of bisphenol A from cans. Kang, J.H., Kito, K., Kondo, F. Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University, Kibanadai-Nishi, Gakuen, Miyazaki-shi 889-2192, Japan. Journal of Food Protection, 2003 Aug;66(8):1444-7.Migration of bisphenol A (BPA) from epoxy can coatings to jalapeño peppers and an acid food simulant. Munguia-Lopez, E.M., Peralta, E., Gonzalez-Leon, A., et al. Centro de Investigacion en Alimentacion y Desarrollo, A.C. Apdo. Postal 1735, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000, Mexico. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2002 Dec 4;50(25):7299-302.. Another can concern is botulism, which can be caused by bacteria in canned goods. It’s rare in the U.S., but is typically found in bloated or damaged canned goods (because the protective seal has been broken), so avoid those cans!
I Think I Can, I Think I Can — The Greatist Beginner’s Guide to Canning
Glass jars are a safe way to enjoy fruits and veggies year-round without fear of BPA and with control over ingredients. We rounded up quick and easy guidelines for first-time canners:
Always use a recipe. Canning recipes are specifically formulated to preserve properly. Altering them slightly could result in the wrong level of acidity and unsafe food. Yeah, it’s basically like having a mad scientist’s lab in the kitchen.
Start with fruit. Because of its natural acidity, fruit can be jarred with a standard kitchen pot, whereas vegetables require a pressure canner.
Gear up. Use cans intended for canning (no left-over tomato sauce jars) with two-part lids (a flat top with rubber gasket, which should be new, and a ring, which can be reused).
Use fruit at it’s best. Canning won’t improve the quality of the fruit, so avoid fruit that’s overripe or low-quality. Canning in-season helps.
Have the right pot. Make sure your pot is large enough to accommodate the can, a rack underneath it, one to two inches of water over the top of the can, plus one to two inches between the water and the top of the pot (to leave space for boiling). Use canning tongs, which are coated with heat resistant rubber, not standard kitchen tongs.