Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It's been awhile since I have posted about BPA - Bisphenol A - so I thought I would do an update.

It is certainly the topic that I get the most consumer emails on.

I do have a little good news to report.

It seems like the can industry is moving towards using alternatives.

For the longest time, our canners - relying on information from the can industry - said "there is nothing wrong with BPA." When I would get these emails from my suppliers, I would write back and say "you are on the wrong side of the issue...you need to be looking at alternatives."

Of course, in reality, it isn't that simple.

The can manufacturers turn out - I don't know - hundreds of thousands of cans per day...maybe millions...all coated with BPA.

The canners themselves have huge warehouses - millions of square feet that I have walked through. Right now, with the harvest over, they have filled, unlabeled cans of tomatoes, corn and other vegetables. Then during the year, as they ship out product to the customers, they start buying empty cans to put in the warehouses, in anticipation of next year's crop.

In other words, none of these can manufacturers have the capability to produce a year's worth of cans in a week or two before next year's harvest. They are making cans year round.

So where are we at today?

A consumer wrote to me this morning "...Is there someplace I can go to find information on putting pressure on the can manufacturers? Do I just need to be hassling my grocers, or are they at the mercy of their distributors..."

The can manufacturers are the ones in the middle. They have heard, loud and clear, that they need to start using alternatives to BPA. We have been told that a certain percentage of our Organic Tomato cans are BPA free...maybe 20%. We were also told that we can't order product to come in with BPA free cans...that it is going to take a year for the old cans to work their way through the system.

As to putting pressure on the can industry....it isn't just us - the organic folk - that want BPA free cans. They are hearing it from Wal Mart and the other big guys. The main difference, though, is we are telling our suppliers that they can increase our cost to cover the BPA free cans. Wal Mart and the other big guys? I can't speak for them...but Wal Mart didn't get to the size they are at by saying to their suppliers, "sure, go ahead and raise your prices to us..." if you know what I mean.

The canners themselves have produced - and put into their production sample rooms - cans without BPA. They want to be able to look at year old cans of beans, two year old cans of beans, and see if they maintain the same shelf life as they had with cans with BPA.

And that is an update as of today


  1. Thanks for the update!!! Change will come, but over time! Meantime we will keep the pressure on! :)

  2. Thanks for updating on the BPA issue. I am just quitting buying all canned foods (and yours are about the only ones I buy anyway) until this issue is settled and I am SURE there is no BPA in my canned goods. But thanks for the other fine stuff you sell. I buy it through Azure Standard. Sincerely, A fan in Idaho

  3. Native Forest uses BPA-free cans. How did they manage to do it?

    You could also consider packaging your coconut milk in boxes.

    Just a thought.