Bisphenol-A (BPA) is bad. It’s a neuroendocrine disrupter linked to a plethora of health problems including developmental impairment and cancer. There are many articles online explaining why we should steer clear of BPA, so I won’t expound on the subject except to make a specific point. BPA is present in the lining of most canned goods. As consumers, we should rethink how much risk we are willing to accept for the convenience of using canned products. Some companies, like Eden Organic are going to BPA-free enamel lining, however this makes their products more expensive. Pomi brand tomatoes are another example of BPA-free packaging, and their boxed chopped or strained tomatoes can be found in many supermarkets.
As a vegetarian, I have been highly reliant on buying canned beans. Finally, I’ve started buying my beans dried and in bulk. The Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany is my source for inexpensive and organic dried bulk products, but wherever you are, dried legumes are easily available. Using dried beans takes a little planning, but the end result is an inexpensive, better tasting, better textured, BPA-free bean.
I particularly rely on chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as a stable. Here is a very easy way to reconstitute your chickpeas. The one to three ratio can be adjusted to end up with less beans, but they will keep for a few days in the fridge or frozen (freeze them spread out on a tray, then pour frozen beans into a container). You can also skip the salt if you are watching your sodium intake:
- 3 cups of dried chickpeas
- 9 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt