Posted by Claudia Grazioso on October 6, 2011
Many parents are aware by now that bisphenol A, or BPA, a polycarbonate which is used in many common plastics, is bad for people in general and kids in particular. It has been linked to, among other things, endocrine disruptions, neurological problems and cancer. And so we are all carefully avoiding plastic water bottles and traditional Tupperware and checking the numbers on the bottoms of plastic goods to determine whether they are relatively safe. But not many parents are worried about canned goods. Let’s face it, canned food is a staple of the busy family, particularly with two parents working outside the home. But BPA is used in the lining of cans. And if that isn’t worrisome enough, a recent study by the Breast Cancer Fund found very high levels of BPA in canned food marketed specifically to small children.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother would always buy me Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and we would sit happily together at her kitchen table and imitate the advertisement: “Mmm, mmm, good.” Now, apparently, we might as well say “Mmm, mmm, toxins.” Why? Because the two foods marketed specifically to children found to have the highest levels of bisphenol A in the most recent study are Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes and Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes.
Disney Princess Cool Shapes? Say it ain’t so. But here’s where it gets worse… Much worse if you thought that by buying high-end, healthy brands you were safe from the BPA monster. Also included on the list of canned foods marketed towards children with worrying levels of BPAs are Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup and Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli. (Annie’s Homegrown? Earth’s Best? Seriously, people???) Rounding out this depressing list of BPA culprits are Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta and Campbell’s Spaghetti-Os with Meatballs.
It’s all so depressing. You would think that manufacturers who are targeting children would, at this point, at least be aware of the possible dangers of BPAs and monitor the levels in their packaging accordingly. But once again, it’s up to parents to watch what comes into our homes, onto our shelves and into our children’s mouths. Here’s a suggestion if you want to give your kids a super quick dinner they will love: boil water, add pasta. Drain pasta, add butter, milk and cheese. Serve. Graciously accept the applause.
No cans, no BPAs — and no waiting for anybody else to get serious about our kids’ health.