Although there's no harm in participating in the annual feast of calorie-dense comfort foods, mass production of quick and easy, processed food staples comes with a price: toxic additives.
Many of our favorite holiday dishes are laden with preservatives and less-than-ideal ingredients (we're looking at you, high-fructose corn syrup). Unless you're open to cooking many of these classic, albeit time-consuming dishes from scratch, it may be best to nix the boxed stuffing for healthier alternatives.
Learn about the season's most notorious sides and tips for planning your holiday meals without uninvited guests like BPA, artificial preservatives, and antibiotic residues.
1. Canned Cranberry Sauce
An essential side for almost any Thanksgiving table, many opt for the ease and convenience of canned cranberry sauce. While this shaves some time off your meal prep, it could also add a dose of BPA.
Bisphenol A, most commonly known as BPA, is used in cans as a protective lining between metal and food. While the FDA argues that it's safe to apply to food packaging, scientific research disagrees, citing that BPA is linked to negative impacts on the body's hormones, as well as acting as an obesogenic chemical, meaning it can contribute to weight gain (1).
Here's a simple cranberry sauce recipe that will brighten your dinner plate, sans BPA.
2. Jarred Gravy
That consistently tasty and easy to use jarred gravy on your grocery store shelf may not be such a great addition to your meal this year, or any year. Trans fats and sodium benzoate are common in processed foods across the spectrum, but they are most often used in sauces, dressings, and marinades to improve consistency and keep products shelf stable.