Just say NO to plastic (and tin cans)

Once upon a time I was scared of my pressure canner. It’s been in the box, out of the box, inside on a shelf, outside in the shed, many places since I purchased it over a decade (or more!) ago. The one location it never made it to was the stove top!

Until my lifestyle eating habits drastically changed.

I became a vegan. And like every good vegan, I eat beans.

I’ve always loved them and have always consumed them but the quantity has risen considerably. I wanted to quit using store-bought. Even though they were organic and I could recycle the empty, BPA free cans, it wasn’t enough. I wondered what “new and improved” alternatives they now contained. I did my research and the results were predictably terrible. I decided to ditch the tin cans as much as I was able to. I’d already performed a plastic purge and while it was challenging, it was completely manageable.

And home canning is so much more affordable. Especially when you go through as many as 10 jars of beans per week! I’ve cut the cost by well over 50%. What used to be $2 or more is now 45-67 cents! And I KNOW exactly what’s in the jar, no hidden surprises like hair or rodent droppings.

The following 3 links I’m providing are important to read. If you’re not on the ‘no-plastic, I-care-about-what-I’m-exposed-to’ bandwagon, you might just change your views. There is a lot we can do to make this world a healthier and safer place for us and every other living creature. Plastic/BPA is just plain nasty. Avoid it wherever possible.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/tritan-certichem-eastman-bpa-free-plastic-safe

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2013/05/12-ways-to-avoid-hidden-bpa/

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/natural_healing/estrogen.html

My very legitimate fear of harmful, estrogen-mimicking compounds (too much estrogen in our bodies is dangerous!) finally outweighed my very irrational fear of a pressure canner explosion. It was time to kick the can habit.

Through trial and error, I now can beans with confidence. Chick peas, pinto, black, red kidney, lima, Great Northern, etc. There’s great pleasure of looking into my cupboard and seeing rows of my own handiwork. NO BPA and whatever’s in the lid is minimal when compared to an entire tin can.

I do it for my sister and her husband as well. She’s a struggling vegan 🙂 (she’ll love that term) and he’s a dedicated vegetarian. She buys the dried beans. I buy the jars and can them. We all eat ’em. I think it’s a pretty sweet arrangement. She wouldn’t, in a million years, can her own beans. I actually enjoy it.

I’ll do a post one day on what I’ve learned about canning beans. I Googled the subject extensively prior to my first attempt. I tried a few different methods. I had success. I had failure. I’d like to condense all my information and pass it along. I have a tip or two I never did find in my online searching.

The only problem I have now is the size of my canner. It’s small. It holds 7 pint jars and that’s it. Oh, the things I could accomplish with a ginormous, double decker!! I guess it will go on my wish list. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll survive 7 jars per batch. . . . .

*** Additional articles worth a read 🙂 There may be are probably many of you who believe all of the ‘removing this and avoiding that’ is nothing more than paranoia or going overboard but the hard and ugly fact is we ARE surrounded by noxious chemicals. And there IS a lot we can do to be healthier and remain that way.

In the end, of course, it’s your choice to do your research or bury your head in the sand.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bpa-free-plastic-containers-may-be-just-as-hazardous/

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/bpa-alternative-alters-hormones

http://healthychild.org/chemical-watch-bisphenol-s-doesnt-get-an-a/

http://www.naturalnews.com/042592_BPA_BPS_plasticizers.html#

http://www.chej.org/pvcfactsheets/The_Poison_Plastic.html

http://www.realnatural.org/is-smelly-china-plastic-toxic/

http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/10-surprising-sources-gassing-your-home-and-what-you-should-do-about-it.html

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