Canning food WITHOUT BPA

Last summer I meant to write about this but then I got caught up in all the hoopla from Hurricane Irene, the rush to get even more canning done, the busy schedule at work and home and all and well. I just never got to it.
I'm sure many have heard about BPA which is short for Bisphenol A.
Wikipedia has this to say on it.
"BPA is controversial because it exerts weak, but detectable, hormone-like properties, raising concerns about its presence in consumer products and foods contained in such products. Starting in 2008, several governments questioned its safety, prompting some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised further concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children.In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance. In the European Union and Canada, BPA use is banned in baby bottles."

Over the years my husband and I both have grown suspicious over ANYthing that the FDA says "might have a slight risk if exposed".  We have tended to try to avoid anything that the FDA says is low risk or safe in low doses.   So imagine my shock and surprise to find out the lids that I was using to can my green beans, my tomatoes and my pickles have BPA in the lining underneath them.   The lids that my Mom used and now I use actually contain BPA. 
When I first discovered it I was frustrated and pretty angry.  Mostly because what am I going to do?  I still want to preserve my tomatoes and bell peppers, right?  And there are NO lids that do NOT contain BPA, right?
Wrong.

Through word of mouth I came across Tattler lids.  Now these ones are a bit different.  They are made out of food grade plastic and the best thing, they are reusable!  I cannot tell you how many times over the past 2+ years that I have ran out of tops, I either send my wonderful husband or we all pile in the car to go to Walmart or the other local grocery store and they are ALL out of lids! Especially during the summer months!
Also another nice thing.  You can use the Ball/Kerr canning screw tops with these. 
So, with that all in mind I purchased one box of regular mouth lids and rubber rings for $27.95. 
The reason I didn't purchase more was simply because I wanted to try them out first.  Not only did I want to see how they worked with my jars but also I wanted to see how the seal would hold up during the winter.  I mean, after all, that's great that they can be reused, and that's wonderful that they are BPA free but if they don't seal the jar effectively then what good are they?

So, I ended up using them on some apple pie preserves, some white chocolate raspberry, and some peaches in a simple syrup.  End result?
Almost every single one did well.  Now I'm saying this in March and the last time we canned was about mid to late September so that means those jars that I used the lids on have been sitting in our pantry for approximately six months. 
The only item that did not seal and grew mold was one of the apple pie preserves.  I think this one might have been because we did not clean the top of the jar well enough at the time of canning but it's hard to say for certain. 
This year we'll be able to further see as I'll be ordering another batch of lids from Tattler.  Now, there only two negatives I can see out of using these lids.  For one, my husband and I have decided about two years ago to give away salsas, jellies, jams, pickles and what not as Christmas gifts.  This idea has REALLY saved money as previously we were giving out either gift cards or, when we lived in Alaska, fresh sausage and seafood packages from Alaska Sausage & Seafood.  When we give these wonderful, homemade, gourmet canned products out we lose the reusable lids.  I've told my parents to please, PLEASE send back the tattler lids as they are reusable but I have yet to see them back.  As for my husbands family I intend on telling them the same soon here as well.  After all, I've heard our white chocolate raspberry jam is a complete success and is very popular among our young neices so if they want any more then they have to send me the lids and jars back. 
Second, they do cost a bit more than the average Ball or Kerr Lids. Amazon has Ball Regular mouth lids with rims priced at $4.39 with free shipping for Prime members or just the lids for $5.42  
Now of course, getting the average Ball or Kerr lids means that I have purchase new ones of these every year.  I guess for one who doesn't massively can or preserve during the summer months then maybe this would be okay but for those of us who do put up a lot more food, well I can see the Tattler lids being worth it in the end.

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