Hosni Mubarak’s time as Egyptian president may be limited, but it’s not all bad news for him. In the near future, Mubarak (and all of the hoi polloi) will be able to eat canned tomatoes free of Bisphenol A (BPA).
BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in many plastics and aluminum cans, and according to Rodale News, is “linked to male infertility, diabetes, heart disease, aggressive behavior in children, and other ills.” (BPA is number six on Rodale’s recent “7 More Household Toxins You Should Banish from Your Home” list.)
BPA was always deemed essential in canned tomato products because of the tomatoes’ high acidity. For home cooks, this was troubling, as canned tomatoes are essential in tomato sauces, chilies, stews and other dishes. (Organic jarred tomatoes are available, albeit more expensive and more difficult to find.)
Thankfully, relief is on the way. Muir Glen, the maker of high-quality organic tomatoes, started using BPA-free aluminum cans for last summer’s tomato harvest. These cans can now be found at supermarkets.
However, identifying which Muir Glen tomato products are BPA-free is not straightforward, as no labeling or coding exists for the BPA-free cans.
According to Muir Glen, the only indicator of a BPA-free product is the can’s expiration date. If the expiration date is in 2013, then the can may be BPA-free. Cans with earlier expiration dates contain BPA. To reiterate, at this time, not all cans with a 2013 expiration date are BPA-free.
Muir Glen has no time frame for the changeover’s completion, but the company will make a formal announcement when the transition to BPA-free cans is finished.