While BPA has been banned from 10 states in the U.S. (including California), China, Canada and parts of Europe, in the U.S., the ban applies mostly to BPA products for children (bottles, cups, and baby food jars). There is no guarantee that the canned items you are purchasing are free of this hormone mimicker. Industry leaders argue that the BPA lining is the lesser of two evils and that the lining helps prevent botulism, however, there is a volume of research on the negative health impacts of BPA.
Coconut milk has become a popular milk substitute for those with dairy intolerance. Boxed coconut milks often have sweeteners and additives and so BPA-free cans may be the cleanest way (unless you make your own straight from the coconut) to obtain coconut milk.
Brands of BPA-free coconut milk:
- Native Forest, available at the Food Bin in Santa Cruz, some Whole Foods in the Bay Area, and in bulk on Amazon.
- Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk. Coconuts provide healthy fats that are easy to digest due to their shorter chains and so light coconut milk does not provide as much of these beneficial fats. This can be remedied by adding some coconut oil as you cook or coconut cream (available in glass jars).
- Aroy-D comes in a box and they do not have added preservatives. They also have coconut cream.
In regard to other packaged foods, look at the recycle code on plastics. Types 3 and 7 may be more likely to leak BPA than the other codes. When possible, buy items sold in glass containers.