Tuesday, March 05, 2013

canned tomatoes

Had you heard?  Canned tomatoes (in aluminum cans) have BPA.  This evidently rocked the Internet world in 2009, but I missed it: 7 Foods Experts Won't Eat.

Apparently the lining of cans (which is necessary so that the aluminum doesn't seep into our foods) has BPA.  This does not pose a significant problem with all canned foods, but acidic foods, such as tomatoes, increase the rate at which BPA seeps into the food.  My research (*cough* *cough*...browsing of the Internet) has led me to suspect that a small amount of this for adults is probably not a big deal.  But for those under 6, experts are very wary of this.  This article (point #3) stated that kids' bodies have a harder time processing the toxins of BPA than adults.

Now, here's the thing.  I'm trying to live more health-fully while not being too bowled over by the "food-scare" that seems to be ravaging the Internet.  With a grain of salt if you catch my drift. But here's what happened.
About a week ago I used a bunch of canned tomatoes to make my own spaghetti sauce (yummy, cheap).  The tomatoes were in tomato juice, and I saved all the liquid in the cans, because there was plenty to make cream of tomato soup.  Last Saturday I made soup, following a recipe I regularly make which calls for tomato juice.  Julie enjoyed it as always.  She had it for lunch on Saturday and leftovers on Sunday. 
Both afternoons, a few hours after eating, Julie developed rashes.  On Saturday they were all over her legs.  She's never had rashes before.  She has no allergies, she had had nothing new to eat, and she wasn't hot.  At the time, I only hoped they'd go away and it would be no big deal.
But on Sunday evening I learned about about BPA in canned tomatoes, and started my research.  It just adds up.  That tomato soup has an awful lot of tomato in it (far more being eaten in one sitting than if I use canned tomatoes for chili, or salsa, or pasta sauce).  And Julie is just a little girl, and she'd be more affected by BPA.  It just makes sense to me that the rashes were a result of the soup, which had BPA.
I'm sorry it happened, but it is pretty wild to have mysterious toxins that I can't see or taste and don't even know if I really trust the 'experts' of their danger, then be confirmed as harmful before my eyes.


PaníUlrichová said...


mother said...

so you know it wasn't the tomatoes, which some people might get a rash from, but the BPA which is not food, but a toxin. Are tomatoes in paper boxes okay?

kate said...

well, I don't know-know-know for sure. But Julie's eaten lots of tomato soup, and she loves it, and I've never seen a rash on her before.

I guess it's something to watch out for the next time I make tomato soup, in case that's really all it was.