Canning was born out of the logistical needs of the military. It was during the Napoleonic Wars that the French government actively sought out a solution for preserving large amounts of food in conveniently portable containers to feed its large mobile armies. Thus it was a French confectioner and brewer by the name of Nicolas Appert who first established the canning process in 1809. At that time sealed glass jars served as the containers.
Technology and the manufacturing process improved and tin cans soon replaced glass jars. Soldiers in the succeeding wars all the way to World War 2 received canned fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry of continuously increasing quality. As canned goods became cheaper to produce, demand in the consumer market also came about and grew.
Fruits are at their most nutritious and beneficial when raw and fresh. Unfortunately they are perishable. While canned fruits may widen the availability and consumption of fruits by preserving them way beyond natural limits, the convenience comes at the price of certain health risks. Read further and discover the negative effects of canned fruits.
Canned Fruit Health Risks:
“Migration” is the term used by those studying the harmful effects of cans to describe the contamination of food content by canning materials. Particular substances utilized in the manufacture of cans have been noted to migrate: lead, tin and bisphenol A (BPA).
In the earlier days of canning, lead solder was the primary material used for sealing metal cans. As awareness of the toxicity and contamination of lead in canned fruits spread, the practice of using lead solder was reduced. Eventually by 1995, the US banned its use in cans. Some countries may still make lead-soldered cans though and this makes lead poisoning still a possible risk from imported canned fruits. Symptoms of lead poisoning can start with stomach pain and headache and then complicate to seizure and coma.
Tinplate steel used to be the main material from which cans were made. Tin was used because of its corrosion resistant property. But since certain fruits can be quite acidic and the acid can react with the tin, canned fruits could still be contaminated by this metal over time. Some manufacturers have shifted to using aluminum to supposedly mitigate this problem while others use fully lacquered cans. The UK’s Food Standards Agency has a 2002 report that mentions certain canned fruit products had to be recalled because of unsafe concentrations of tin. The report states that sensitive individuals could experience digestive upsets such as diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Bisphenol A is currently the focus of debate and investigation on the safety of commercial packaged food. This is a chemical that is frequently used in the manufacture of plastics and resins. BPA is present in canned fruits and other canned food products because it is the material used to line the inside of cans. The purpose supposedly was to separate the can metal from the food content.
The important thing to note about BPA is that it has been linked with various types of health risks: hormone disruption, obesity, prostrate cancer, diabetes, behavioral changes, erectile dysfunction, and heart disease. According to the Environmental Working Group 2007 report on the substance, it only takes a small dose for certain negative effects to appear.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of fruit in syrup and why you should avoid it to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of canned fruits, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of canned fruits.