Not everyone is worried about bisphenol-A, a chemical often found in the plastic and resin-treated metal packaging that an awful lot of our food seems to come in these days. But quite a few are, especially in countries outside of the United States, due to studies that have linked it to everything from hyperactivity in children to diabetes to breast cancer. Advocacy group The Breast Cancer Fund is especially concerned about how much BPA could show up in a traditional Thanksgiving meal – so they conducted a study to figure out the numbers. The group released those numbers this week in a report appropriately titled “BPA in Thanksgiving Canned Food,” and the results may be shocking to anyone who’s uncomfortable with the idea of extra chemicals in their holiday feasts.
The Breast Cancer Fund’s study examined the BPA levels in the following fan-favorite Thanksgiving meal items, pureeing samples from different states across the country in proven BPA-free containers and assessing them via Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) to determine BPA levels in parts per billion (ppb).
- Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Campbell’s Turkey Gravy
- Carnation Evaporated Milk
- Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn, Cream Style
- Green Giant Cut Green Beans
- Libby’s Pumpkin
- Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
“A single 120 g serving of a food with a BPA concentration at or above 11 ppb would lead to exposures comparable to those that lab studies have associated with disruptions to in utero brain development,” reads the report, setting the standard for levels that could be considered acceptable. “Twelve of the food cans we tested would lead to exposures at these levels in a woman of average weight (65.4 kg, or 144 lbs.).”
The Ocean Spray cranberry sauce was the big winner – BPA levels were undetectable in all four samples from California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York. Del Monte’s sweet creamed corn was by far the most inconsistent – while BPA levels were below detection in New York, the sample from Minnesota clocked in at a staggering 221 ppb. Meanwhile the Cream of Mushroom soup has the highest numbers across the board, with a low of 30 ppb in MA and a high of 83 in (again) Minnesota.
Check out the full report here. However you feel toward bisphenol-A, it’s certainly something to consider when planning your own Thanksgiving meal.