Will You Have This Unwelcome Guest at Your Thanksgiving Table?
Quite a few Thanksgivings ago my granddaughter asked me if she could help me with some of the food preparation. We have a large extended family and I loved the idea. She particularly wanted to make a pumpkin pie from scratch! Yes….that meant purchasing a sugar pumpkin and actually make the pie filling from that. I loved baking pies but had to admit to her that I had never made a pumpkin pie other than to scoop the pumpkin out of a can. She would have none of that. So we went to the store and she picked out 2 small round sugar pumpkins for her pies and I immediately began searching my recipe books for how to do this!
Interestingly enough, it had just been recently that I had come across some disturbing information about BPA, an estrogenic chemical (bisphenol A), present in the majority of canned food liners and, in fact, lab studies were linking to breast cancer. I remember at the time that I consciously wanted to avoid purchasing cans and found it difficult because the few products I did purchase off the grocery shelves often did not have any other option, and if they did, were a more expensive choice. I do remember buying my tomatoes in cartons, not cans, after reading about the dangers of BPA. I realized that my granddaughter’s choice in purchasing the pumpkins instead of the cans suddenly made good sense!
One of the reports I read came from a study by the Breast Cancer Society. It was very interesting as they actually took a typical Thanksgiving meal and discovered how much BPA was included. Here are the favorite Thanksgiving canned foods that they tested:
• Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
• Campbell’s Turkey Gravy
• Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestle)
• Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn, Cream Style
• Green Giant Cut Green Beans (by General Mills)
• Libby’s Pumpkin (by Nestle)
• Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
The results: for half of the products tested, a single 120-gram serving of the food contains enough BPA to show adverse health impacts in lab studies. Have some pumpkin pie after your green bean casserole and gravy, and the amount of BPA delivered to each holiday diner adds up to a concerning chemical dose. Apparently the doses of BPA were “all over the map” ~ even those of the same brand and content.
Revisiting this report definitely made me want to make more of an effort to avoid cans and seek other alternatives. My plan for the upcoming holidays is to purchase organic sugar pumpkins for my pies instead of that easy way out of just opening up that can of pumpkin. Cranberries are not an issue as I have never purchased canned cranberry sauce. I cannot even imagine that. Fresh organic cranberries bubbling on the stove with spices and a little sugar is heavenly! And turkey gravy? No, no no. We always make that from scratch. Green beans in a can??? Fresh beautiful green beans has always been our choice!. My husband loves creamed corn ~ I will have to find a recipe for that.
What about you? Is your grocery cart filled with those typical Thanksgiving Dinner cans? Just in time I have found an excellent resource for you ~ go here for great recipes for a “No-Cans” for Thanksgiving 🙂