I was reading Organic Gardening magazine the other day, and ran across an article that stated “Canning jar lids from the brands Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, and Bernardin are coated with bisphenol A”. Wait, isn't that every brand of canning lid made in the USA?
Furthermore, Consumer Reports found BPA in 19 name-brand canned foods (that you can get off the shelf in any grocery store), and even in some cans marked "BPA Free". The FDA is now expressing concern (as of January 2010) about the potential effects BPA exposure may have, which mimics the hormone estrogen and may cause reproductive abnormalities and increase the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Well, sh*t. You try to eat right, exercise, and do a little home canning, but you still can't get away from the crapola.
Started researching whether there were any other canning lids that were BPA-free. Wecks has gorgeous jars with rubber gaskets and glass lids, but are only good for water-bath canning (jams & high acid food processing). If you want to can meats or other things needing pressure-canning, Wecks won't work. Quattro Stagioni lids (which I don't even know if they'll work with standard Ball or Kerr jars like I have) are also BPA-free and can be used in a pressure canner, but cost a $1.29 for a measly two lids.
Then, a miracle happened - @joykohl reminded me of the Tattler re-usable lids, and asked "are these BPA free?" Yes, yes, YES THEY ARE! They fit regular- and wide-mouth mason jars, and to top it off, they're REUSABLE! 3 dozen lids at $23.00 works out to about 66 cents per lids, and these can be re-used many, many times over. Some folks have used their original Tattler lids for over 20 years. Of course, the lids are plastic, so who knows if there's some other danger lurking in the plastic that won't be found out until several years from now, but, hey! It's better than storing foods in animal stomachs and burying in the dirt somewhere...
[pic: the Tattler re-usable lids]