In 2020, the global Canned Food market size was $23210 million, and it is expected to reach $30500 million by the end of 2027, with a CAGR of 3.9% between 2021 and 2027. As food prices rise, the canned food industry will become more popular as it is cheaper and has a longer shelf-life.
It might seem more straightforward to open up a can of chopped veggies and pop them into a pot instead of cutting up fresh veggies and using them sooner rather than later.
With that being said, just because something lasts longer does not mean that it is healthy for you. Canned food contains chemicals that are not healthy for your body. Below, we will look at what toxic chemicals are found in canned food, which cans are safer to consume, and a few studies that show the effects of canned food chemicals on your body and overall health.
Is Canned Food Contaminated With Toxic Chemicals?
Even today, canned foods still contain a chemical known as BPA, Bisphenol-A. Among its various uses are making plastics and resins, it has been used since the 1950s.
Several plastics and resins contain BPA, including polycarbonate and epoxy. Food and beverage containers, such as water bottles, are often made of polycarbonate plastic. They may also be used in other consumer goods such as canned food.
Children, infants, and fetuses who are exposed to BPA may suffer health effects related to the brain and prostate gland. Children’s behavior can also be affected by it. According to additional research, BPA may also be linked to increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Nevertheless, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that food containing deficient levels of BPA is safe. Hundreds of studies have been reviewed for this assessment. Research continues to be monitored by the FDA.
How To Reduce Your BPA Exposure
- Whenever possible, use BPA-free products. A growing number of manufacturers are creating BPA-free products. BPA-free products are those that are labeled as such. Be careful with products that are not marked with recycle code numbers 3 or 7, as some can contain BPA.
- Heat should be avoided. Do not microwave or dishwash plastic containers because the heat may break them down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
- Reduce the use of cans. Reducing your intake of canned foods is a good idea.
- Consider alternatives. When storing hot foods and liquids, plastic containers should be replaced with glass, porcelain, or stainless-steel containers.
- Select canned products from vendors who attest to using BPA-free linings in all or some of their canned products listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Best Players and Better Players lists. Search EWG’s Food Scores for specific products.
Can You Wash BPA Off Canned Food?
Rinsing your canned food before you consume the food can help reduce the amount of BPA on the food. This will result in you consuming less of the BPA. With that being said, there is no guarantee that you can rinse off the BPA thoroughly.
Do BPA-free Products Pose The Same Health Risks?
Study results from the CDC showed that 93% of Americans have traces or higher of BPA in their blood. In spite of this, studies conducted by the U.S. FDA did not show that BPA is harmful to human health at typical exposure levels, though it is still controversial.
Patricia Hunt, a reproductive biologist at Washington State University in Pullman, and her colleagues decided to test the effects of BPA alternatives directly. The researchers administered low doses of BPA, BPS, diphenyl sulfone, or a placebo to pregnant female mice. They report today in Current Biology that females exposed to BPA or its alternatives produced more protein markers of genetic damage during meiosis than those not exposed. There are concerns that BPA alternatives are as hazardous as BPA itself.
Is It Safe To Eat Food From A Dented Can?
In accordance with Fsis, if food cans contain a small dent but otherwise are in good shape, the food can be eaten. If you can poke your finger into a deep imprint, it is profound. Sharp points often puncture deep dents. A sharp dent on the top or side of the seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can. Any can with a deep imprint on the seam should be thrown away.
The bacteria, Botulism, in small amounts can be deadly. You should store items for the following amount of time:
- two to five years for low-acid foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables
- twelve-eighteen months for high acid foods such as juices, fruit, pickles, tomato soup, and sauerkraut
How To Tell If Canned Food Has Botulism?
Home-canned food and store-bought food may be contaminated with toxins or other harmful germs. Toxins like Botulism are common in canned foods and can cause severe health complications. The botulinum toxins are derived from improperly processed foods, in which the bacteria or spores survive, grow, and produce the toxins.
You can tell if a can has been compromised if:
- The can is leaking, bulging, or swollen
- The can looks to be damaged, cracked, or abnormal
- The container spurts liquids or foam when opened
- The food inside the can is discolored, moldy, or smells bad
Shelf-stable foods are generally safe for an indefinite period of time. As long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling), canned goods can last for years. Most packaged foods (cereals, pasta, cookies) should be safe beyond their ‘best by’ dates but may become stale or lose their flavor over time.
This means that the chemicals present in the canned food keep the food safe for a long time. A chemical that can do that is not always a good thing for you to ingest. Cut down on canned foods and try to eat healthier, fresher foods. They are easier to digest and more beneficial for your body.