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Better Choices

What You Need to Know About Buying Organic Food in Cans

organic food cans BPA

While I promote organic food as much as I can and want to help the industry prosper, I also feel a need to educate and inform my readers.

Without question, organic food is the healthiest food that exists and is something that I believe can feed the planet. However, sometimes the packaging of organic food products is not always the best.

I have talked a lot in the past about my aversion to plastic bottles. Aside from the fact that they are horrible for the environment, they are also hormone (endocrine) disruptors.

When I spoke with David Wolfe, the most famous person in the raw food world, he shared a similar opinion regarding plastic.

Have I eliminated plastic bottles 100% from my life? No, but my usage has gone way, way down.

When I carry my water around NYC, I use glass bottles. And I LOVE the glass bottles by Takeya.

Every time I go into my local organic market, I see cans of organic food — beans, pasta sauce, tomato paste, etc. Many of these items are using cans that contain BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical that the FDA has real worries about.

The FDA has some concern about “the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.”

If the FDA, which is so beholden to Big Ag and doesn’t express any real concern about GMOs, has trepidation about BPA in packaging, it is something to pay attention to.

Brands that Use BPA-Free Cans

While there may be other brands that offer organic food in BPA-free cans, these are the ones that I am aware of.

EDEN ORGANIC

Eden Organic has been using BPA-free cans since 1999. This company has been way ahead of the curve on this whole BPA issue and their efforts are very admirable. The Eden Organic products that do not use BPA cans are the organic beans, refried beans, chilies and rice & beans.

The Eden Organic products that contain tomatoes do use BPA cans.

NATIVE FOREST, NATIVE FACTOR

– Native Forest and Native Factor brands by Edwards & Sons have all of their products (except mushrooms) in BPA-free cans.

Interestingly, the labels do not say BPA-free but I have spoken with the company and they have assured me that all of the products (except mushrooms) under the Native Factor and Native Forest brands are not sold in cans that contain BPA.

MUIR GLEN

– Muir Glen says on their website that they are transitioning to BPA-free cans. What does this mean exactly?

Well, when I called the company, I was told that there are some organic tomato products that have the BPA-free cans and some that do not. However, none of the cans have labels on the outside indicating whether it is BPA-free or not.

I was told that the only way to tell if the Muir Glen can is BPA-free is to buy it and then look at the color of the liner inside.

If the liner is white, it is a BPA can. If the liner is an off-white color (yellow, copper, redish, pinkish color), then it is a BPA-free can.

When I asked to speak with a PR person at Muir Glen about this, I was refused.

I can promise you that I won’t be buying Muir Glen cans anytime soon and playing roulette as to whether the product contains BPA or not.

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Even if the cans are BPA-free, the liners will contain other chemicals, many of which we don’t understand the long-term consequences to human health.

If you still have doubts about BPA-free cans, my best advice is to stick with glass as much as you can.

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Are Fermented Foods the Key to Happiness?

Whether it is with a salad or any other dish that I am making at home, organic fermented foods – usually sauerkraut (above) or kimchee – can almost always be found on my plate. Why is this?

I have come to understand that if we want to have a strong immune system, we must take care of our gut and provide it with beneficial bacteria.

And that is exactly what fermented foods give us – beneficial bacteria.

Dr. Natascha Campbell-McBride, a Russian neurologist and founder of the GAPS Diet, says that:

“about 85% of our immune system is located in the gut wall. This fact has been established by basic physiology research in the 1930s and the 1940s. Your gut, your digestive wall, is the biggest and the most important immune organ in your body. There is a very tight conversation and a relationship going on between the gut flora that lives inside your digestive system and your immune system.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

5 Questions with Dr. Joel Kahn, Leading Cardiologist and Author of The Plant-Based Solution

Last April, I was in Denver attending the National Organic Standards Board meeting and went to dinner one night at True Food Kitchen.

Sitting at a community table, I struck up a conversation with a woman across from me and she proceeded to tell me that she had recently switched to a vegan diet.

“So, do you know Dr. Joel Kahn? The cardiologist from Detroit,” I asked.

Given that the plant-based world is a tight community and that Dr. Kahn is a social media star, I had a feeling that she might have known him.

“Do I know Dr. Kahn?” she responded with her face completely lit up. “He’s the reason I am a vegan today! Everything he talks about online and in his books convinced me to go plant-based!”

With the release of his excellent new book The Plant-Based Solution, Dr. Joel Kahn is looking to make a similar impact on many more people.

I recently caught up with my friend, and here is what he had to say.

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Organic Insider

Better Choices

Study: Organic Grains Offer Superior Nutrition than Conventional or “Natural”

True, organic is slightly more expensive. This is primarily because it is not subsidized by the government in the same way that conventional food is.

But what rarely gets mentioned is that organic also offers superior nutrition.

In two research reports recently completed by The Organic Center, which examined the nutritional differences of organically farmed grains compared to “natural” and conventional varieties, the authors concluded that commercially produced organic breads are more nutrient-rich, contain more whole food ingredients and have fewer preservatives and additives than conventional breads.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink