The lie: BPA-Free
More of a food packaging claim than a food marketing claim, “BPA Free” is appearing on a growing number of plastic food containers, food service items, and canned food packaging (nearly all canned foods contain a plastic lining made from BPA), hoping to lull shoppers into a sense of security that the food packaging isn’t leaching a toxic chemical linked to reproductive problems, heart disease, and some types of cancer into their food. Those items may not be leaching BPA—but they could be leaching some other damaging chemical. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that all plastics leached chemicals that interfere with your reproductive system, some even more potent than BPA.
To get the real thing:
Opt for products packaged in glass or aseptic cartons (like those used for boxed soups and soy milk), and bring your own glass or stainless steel to-go containers with you when you eat out. I have found one exception, so far, to the BPA-Free claim you can trust: Eden Foods. That company packages its beans, rice and chilies in BPA-free cans that are lined with a plant-based (plastic-free) resin, and is currently the only company in the US that does so to my knowledge.