by Janet Freeman
By now you may have heard of the controversy surrounding Bisphenol-A (BPA), the plastic hardener whose harmful effects on humans—especially infants and small children—have been well documented. But with plastic being used in everything from water bottles to Tupperware, it might seem it’s harder to avoid BPA than it is to live with it. Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth. The past few years have seen a buzz of activity as manufacturers responded to consumer demands, and it’s now easier than ever to clear your kitchen of products containing BPA. Below are some tips to get you started:
Purchase Frozen and Fresh Food
Canned fruit, veggies and beans contain some of the highest BPA levels of any food found on the grocery shelf. Buy fresh, frozen and dried when you can—not only will you save money in some cases, every dollar you spend will pack a bigger nutritional punch, independent of the fact you’ve now managed to free your food from BPA contamination!
Buy a Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Store Leftovers in Glass Containers
After clearing your kitchen of plastic food containers, you’re going to need a new resting place for all those leftovers. The answer is closer than you think—in our house, we use old peanut butter, salsa, and mason jars. I love that you can see the food through the glass—helpful when mold starts to grow!
But in the years since we first began clearing our own kitchen, companies have become increasingly responsive to a wary customer base. If you don’t want to go the glass jar route, check out BPA-free plastic storage containers from Glad, and the timeless and planet-friendly glass ones made by Pyrex. And Rubbermaid has an extensive list illustrating which of their products contain BPA and those that don’t.
Know Your Plastic Wraps
Harder for me to give up than plastic food containers were plastic wrap and storage baggies. For packed lunches we now use wax paper bags, and I’m happy to report that Saran Wrap makes a BPA-free plastic wrap.
Check your Water Pitcher
If you use a pitcher-based filtered water system, it’s worth checking with the manufacturer to see if they use BPA in their products. While they make no mention of it on their web site, BRITA pitchers are BPA-free, and a quick call to the company confirms just that.