Jelly Beans

My four year old has the best logic. “Hey mom- did you know that jelly beans are good for you, because they are jelly on top of a bean. So it’s good for you to eat.”

Aaah, sweetness. If only that were the case. I love the idea of jelly beans as a food group. In fact, I remember getting through many a doctor’s appointment as a child with the promise of pectin jelly beans from the local Hallmark store when it was over.

As for those who say never reward/bribe children with food, I don’t agree. My child was completely out of diapers -even nighttime ones- by his 2nd birthday, and I have the promise of “3 chocolate chips” to thank for that.

But back to the beans.

Fall is here and beans are abundant in many autumn recipes. They make a great base for soups, are the star of chili, and are the perfect finger food for toddlers. Canned beans are very convenient, since soaking and cooking dried beans takes time and planning. But the BPA that lines cans is not worth the convenience.

According to studies, even at very low doses, BPA is linked to breast cancer, early onset of puberty, obesity, hyperactivity, lowered sperm count, miscarriage, diabetes, and altered immune system. Makes me want to soak my beans.

The good news:

There are some great alternatives that are still just as convenient!

  • Beans in Tetra Paks- I’ve used both the Fig Food kind and Whole Foods‘ 365 brand. (please note: I’m not convinced any food or drink in a box is completely safe, as something has to be applied to make them leak proof.)
  • Eden Organics– they use no BPA in their bean packaging, and use glass for acidic foods that leach more toxins from their containers
  • Beans in glass jars- the best option
Now that I think about it, maybe my 4 year old is right. Jelly beans- no canning required- might be the healthiest beans of all.


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