4. Canned Tomatoes
Tomatoes are the base ingredient in so many recipes, in different types of meals all over the world. However, many recipes are increasingly using canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, due to the former’s more flavor and color in food as compared to the latter.
Nutritionists have raised the alarm on canned tomatoes. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in the lining of cans that contain the tomatoes (and other canned products). BPA acts as a barrier between the can’s surface and the food, to prevent corrosion and the metal from mixing with the food. Exposure to BPA (which is thought to behave like estrogen in the human body) leads to several health problems such as:
- A higher risk of some cancers such as breast and prostate
- Sperms defects
- Hormonal disruption
- Organ malformation in children
- Reproductive harm
- Heart disease
- Brain impairment and neurological effects
Canned tomatoes are worse because tomatoes are highly acidic, they, therefore, draw out more BPA from the can lining into the food. In as much as canned products are not healthy, tomatoes are some of the biggest culprits. According to research by Consumer Reports, a couple of servings of canned tomatoes are over the safety limits for BPA exposure to children in a day. Some companies decided to make BPA- free cans. However, they are not healthy as they seem, since the BPA in the can lining was replaced with another chemical, Bisphenol-S (BPS) that has similar health risks to BPA.
There are several alternatives to canned tomatoes:
- Fresh tomatoes from the garden/market
- Blend and can your own tomatoes when they are in season and store them in glass jars for future use
- Buy tomatoes from brands that sell them in glass jars or bottles, and avoid cans at all costs
- Tetra Pak packaging has no BPA