Healthy Legacy: Healthy people, a clean environment, a thriving economy.

11/15/2011

Who invited BPA to Thanksgiving Dinner?

Jerad_MCCBy Jerad Morey, Minnesota Council of Churches

Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect. What blessings have you received this year? What do you have to be grateful for? Pastors often ask parishioners to think with joy upon what God has done in their lives as they look around a table of gathered generations of friends and family.

While we may be blessed with health, food, friends and family, how are we treating these blessings? We believe that through sharing table and food we are building and strengthening our community and expressing our gratitude for life. But have food manufacturers tainted our thanks?

According to today’s report, "BPA in Thanksgiving Canned Food", those of us who use canned green beans, pumpkin, or other popular canned Thanksgiving products to express gratitude or to celebrate abundance may actually be giving a toxic gift to ourselves and those we love. These canned foods contain high levels of BPA, a hormone disruptor linked to early puberty, obesity and cancer. It is especially dangerous in the bodies of infants, children and pregnant women.

We couldn’t have been expected to know about the accidental chemicals we were feeding the ones we loved most! The groceries tested in this report don’t sit on a shelf next to warning labels saying “Contains BPA.”  We won’t find “hormone disruptors” in the nutrition information label. Thankfully, this report can help us prepare a meal that truly expresses joy for our family and friends without stuffing them full of artificial toxins.

This Thanksgiving, make sure your table centerpiece is a horn-a-plenty filled with blessings, not a cornucopia of carcinogens. Read the report. Shop accordingly. And let canned food manufacturers know that your holiday wish is for BPA-free food. Next year safer food might be one more blessing you can be thankful for.

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Editor's note: This blog previously mentioned that canned cranberries may contain BPA. We want to clarify that the testing results in the new Breast Cancer Fund report found that OceanSpray Jellied Cranberry Sauce had non-detectable levels of BPA.

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