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6 Thanksgiving Staples That Contain BPA

6 Thanksgiving Staples That Contain BPA

The Breast Cancer Fund tested a number of canned Thanksgiving staples and found some disquieting 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.

BPA levels in the canned foods we tested were all over the map, even among cans of the same product made by the same company.

What follows are the seven canned Thanksgiving staples that the Breast Cancer Fund tested for BPA and a suggestion for a healthy alternative. The seventh item was not found to have BPA, though the company that makes it said that it does use BPA in the cans.

1. Green Giant Cut Green Beans (by General Mills)

Instead of opening cans of green beans and cream of mushroom soup for a green bean casserole, use fresh green beans or frozen ones.


Green Beans

Photo by ccharmon


2. Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

Instead of using canned soup (which is also high in sodium), the Breast Cancer Fund suggests making your own mushroom sauce using fresh mushrooms and stock (which can be purchased in Tetra Pak cartons).


Mushroom Soup

Photo by noricum

3. Campbell’s Turkey Gravy

Being a vegetarian, I’m not exactly a big consumer of gravy from turkey drippings. Here’s the Breast Cancer Fund‘s suggestion if you feel your meal is not complete without gravy:

Traditional gravy made with pan drippings and flour can be tricky, especially when it comes at the end of meal preparations when everyone is standing around waiting for the gravy to thicken so dinner can start. If you traditionally use canned gravy to avoid this spectacle but want to avoid the BPA, try buying gravy ina cardboard Tetra Pak carton or in a jar.


Turkey Gravy
Photo by Cameron Nordholm


4. Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn, Cream Style

Here’s the Breast Cancer Fund’s alternative: “Cook frozen corn with some cream, salt, pepper and butter. Add flour or corn starch to thicken.” (But maybe go light on the salt if you’re watching your sodium, and easy with the sour cream and butter if you’re watching your cholesterol and fats.)

Of course, if it were summer, you could use fresh corn and shuck it off the cobs.


Boiling/infusing the corn into the cream

Photo by star5112


5. Libby’s Pumpkin (by Nestle)

Some stores do carry pumpkin in Tetra Pak cartons. Or you can go all-out and use an actual pumpkin:

Sugar pie pumpkins are readily available at many grocery stores, or you can substitute another type of winter squash, like butternut. Making a pie from scratch takes a little more work, but is worth the effort. And nothing beats the smell of roasting pumpkin in the oven.


Just over two cups
Photo by sundaykofax


6. Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestle)

The Breast Cancer Fund suggests some substitutes:

Instead of evaporated milk, use heavy cream (you may want to add a little less than the recipe calls for since it can be richer and thinner than evaporated milk). Another option is to evaporate the milk yourself. Store-bought evaporated milk is just milk with about 60 percent of the water removed. Simmer milk on the stove until it is reduced by just over half to make your own.


Heating up the milk
Photo by amyf

7. Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce

The Breast Cancer Fund did not find BPA in canned cranberry sauce, though Ocean Spray says that it uses BPA in the cans.

Nonetheless, how about making some cranberry sauce with actual fresh cranberries?  I’ve made my own for the past few years and it’s quite easy: you simply boil fresh cranberries in equal parts sugar and water. I like to add some ginger and/or a twist of orange or lemon zest, too. The results are different from the gelatinous version from a can, but still very good.


November 21, 2010

Photo by sleepyneko

Leesa recommends choosing only fresh or frozen  organic foods!

Happy and safe eating this Thanksgiving holiday!

By Kristina Chew

Photo by


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6 Real World Fixes for Holiday Bloat

6 Real World Fixes for Holiday Bloat


‘Tis the season of articles instructing women on how not to end  up  chubby and miserable during the holidays. “Don’t drink too much,”  “Don’t eat  too many snacks,” “Get plenty of sleep,” they recommend  cheerfully.

But isn’t constant snacking on bad-for-you delights, imbibing eggnog and hot toddies and way too much champagne,  and staying up late on weeknights to do it all sort of the entire point  of the holiday season?

It’s true that all that partying can take its toll not just on your   waistline, but also on your face—causing you to look bloated, tired, and  puffy  during a season when you’re likely to be photographed more often  than usual. So  what’s the solution? Eschewing the cheese-and-cracker  platter in favor of  low-calorie carrot sticks? Refusing a glass of wine  in favor of sipping  daintily on club soda? Passing up party invitations  where you’d get to wear  glittery heels? Frankly, that’s not how I want  to spend my Christmas season,  and I don’t think you do, either. I’m not  even going to suggest it.

It’s all about moderation and mitigation—there are realistic ways to  have a  fun, delicious, tipsy holiday season without regretting it when  you upload  those party pics.

Drink Plenty of Water This one’s a “duh.” You can drink  water and have a glass of  bubbly. Doesn’t have to be either-or. During  the day and in between  cocktails, make sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid  water retention.  Water also helps your skin stay elastic and dewy, not  dried-out and tired.

Avoid the Very Saltiest Snacks Salt encourages bloat, but  instead of avoiding all salt, be  realistic and enjoy the treats you love, and  just avoid mindless  snacking. When Aunt Deb brings out her famous cheese log,  dig in with a  crostini. When you encounter a platter of melty stuffed potato  skins,  enjoy them with abandon. But think twice about noshing on pretzels or   chips if you’re really just bored. Ingest salt when it counts—for the  most  delicious, splurge-worthy treats. Don’t waste it on bagged pretzels  you can eat  any time of year. If you’re cooking, choose low-sodium  ingredients when you  can, and make sure to eat healthy any time you’re  not at a gathering or  event.

Use Topical Caffeine Caffeine is a diuretic—applied  externally, it temporarily firms skin  and flushes out extra fluid. Try this DIY  coffee body scrub in the morning after a particularly festive night.

Lay Off the Booze Here’s the no-fun news: Alcohol dilates  blood vessels. That doesn’t  just mean extra puffiness, it means redness and  inflammation, too  (especially around the nose area). Be mindful about how much  you’re  drinking, and be sure to guzzle a glass of water after a big night  out.

Sleep On an Extra Pillow If you usually sleep on one  pillow, use two. Elevating your head  even a small amount can discourage fluid  from pooling in the face  overnight.

Apply Home Remedies Cooled cucumber slices or green tea  bags placed over the eyes for  ten minutes or so really can help temporarily  calm inflammation and  reduce puffiness by constricting blood vessels. Try other home remedies or just put your regular beauty products in  the fridge to get a frosty boost.

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

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