Sunday, September 4, 2016

cans and bpa

It has become common knowledge that cans that our food comes stored in is layered with bisphenol A, and BPA is an endocrine disruptor.

There are a few things we can do reduce our consumption of foods that are more often than not contained in plastic-lined cans:

Tomatoes: There are several brands of tomatoes (diced, whole, paste, etc) that are jarred instead of canned. I go for these instead of buying tomatoes in cans. In fact, because of the acidic nature of tomatoes, they are prone to absorbing even more BPA than other foodstuffs. Jarred is definitely the way to go. If you don't wind up reusing the jars, then they can be recycled into other glass products indefinitely.   

Beans: the most obvious solution is to cook them from dried beans. Purchase the dried beans in the bulk section to avoid purchasing them in plastic bags and cook them yourself. There are a few brands that are packed in aseptic containers, but that is also lined in plastic and even the brands (such as 365) that claim to be BPA free, has more than likely just switched from BPA to BPS. 

These are the two big items I used to buy in cans; if you have another product that you usually buy canned, search out an alternative or leave a comment and I'll see if I can offer suggestions. 

To cook the beans is really the big deal, though. You could cook up a big batch once a week and freeze them in mason jars that are freezer-friendly. I used to freeze beans in water, but I have come to find that they freeze just fine without water and hence are easier and quicker to thaw.

To cook beans, I recommend you soak them overnight, but if you need to cook them fast, just use a pressure cooker. My favorite is the 7-in-1 Instant Pot [AMAZON]:

In fact, I love it so much that I have 2! The 7-in-1 is better because it is a rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, it sautes, and is a yogurt maker. There is a $50 coupon floating around, so if you are considering getting it, try to find the coupon.

HERE is a chart of cooking time for legumes, both for soaked and not soaked beans. 

So, get in the habit, write it on your calendar (for instance, cook black beans the first week, kidney beans the second week, chickpeas the third week (reserve the cooking water for aquafaba, and pinto beans the fourth week) and store the beans in the freezer for convenience. Make sure to use only freezer-friendly jars, otherwise your jars will break in the freezer.  

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