You’ve just come down with the flu, it’s a rainy day and you just had a fight with your parents. It’s one of those days. You usually wouldn’t think twice about reaching for a can of some yummy, hits-the-spot chicken noodle soup—that is, until now.
Recent studies have shown that this popular and convenient comfort food has some discomforting health risks. Most soup cans are lined with the chemical BPA, short for Bisphenol A, to keep the food from coming into contact with the metal. Danger arises, however, when the soup is heated during packaging to keep germs out.
According to Third Planet Food, a website that keeps readers up-to-date on nutrition and eating well, the high temperature of the soup during packaging “can cause BPA to leach out of the lining and into the food inside the can.”
So what are the dangers of BPA consumption? Frighteningly enough, there are more than just a few.
According to Third Planet Food, BPA can increase the risks of prostate and breast cancer, early puberty, genetic abnormalities in eggs, and even obesity.
It seems odd that these low-calorie soups could cause weight gain, but the proof is in the science: BPA causes the pancreas to produce more insulin, a hormone regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism. This causes insulin resistance, so that fat and carbohydrates cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore causing weight gain, especially in the abdominal region.
So what can people do to stay safe, but still get the warm goodness of soup in their bellies? The most obvious solution is to get the chef hat out and make homemade soup. But, being that we may not have the time to do that, several soup brands offer BPA-free cans.
According to Inspiration Green, a website promoting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, all of Amy’s brand tomato-based soups and Eden Foods brand soups are BPA-free.
Although most other brands have yet to declare plans to remove BPA from cans, some notable progress has been made.
Campbell’s, a popular soup brand, especially among children, has faced some serious backlash for making erroneous claims in regard to the BPA’s health safety.
According to a March 2012 Forbes article, Campbell’s spokesman Anthony Sanzio announced in September 2011 that BPA had “no threat to human health.” Studies released shortly afterwards that stated the opposite created controversy and pushed Campbell’s to announce future removal of BPA from its cans.
In addition, Whole Foods claims that they are making the transition to BPA-free products as well.
According to Inspiration Green, currently 27 percent of Whole Foods’ store-brand canned goods are BPA-free.
The best thing to do until these soup brands straighten out the controversy is to stick to non-canned or homemade soup. Besides, who hasn’t pretended to be sick one time or another—just to get Mom to make her amazing homemade chicken noodle soup?