Many people want to stock up on canned foods, especially those they want on hand in case of emergencies. However, there are people who are still concerned about the safety of canned foods. Getting to the truth about canned foods can make a difference and help those on the fence stock up on these budget-friendly items.
What are the myths?
Myth #1: Healthy? Canned versus fresh
Fresh foods, once harvested, have a short shelf life. Plus, once fruit or vegetables are picked, their vitamin and mineral content decreases every day. Many canned foods are picked and processed the same day, helping to keep them at their peak for many months. Also, according to the Hy-Vee supermarket chain, sometimes canned foods are packed with additional nutrients, such as increased lycopene in canned tomatoes.
Myth #2: Preservatives
Many people believe that processed foods always contain preservatives, and it means they are full of unsavory ingredients. The term processing is used to describe any food that has been changed from its natural form. So removing corn from a cob or baking a potato counts as processing. Canned foods are preserved by heating the items and sealing them under pressure. No other preservatives are needed to keep them fresh. When stored properly in a dark space at room temperature, high-acid foods, such as tomatoes and citrus foods, will last 1 ½ years. Low-acid foods, which are most everything else, will last five years.
Myth #3: Can linings and BPA
There has been controversy concerning BPA-containing plastics for many years. Even though the Food and Drug Administration, as well as other international food safety agencies, has evaluated the extensive body of science and continue to affirm BPAs safety in food packaging, some manufacturers are voluntarily moving away from it. Consumers can find many foods packed in cans with non-BPA linings. However, even foods packaged in BPA are considered safe for consumption.
Myth #4: Sodium
Some canned foods will contain sodium as an added ingredient to improve taste and act as a freshness preservative. But canned foods do not rank among the biggest offenders in regard to excessive amounts of sodium. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that identified the top 10 food categories that contribute to high sodium diets. Pizza, cured meats, cold cuts, and rolls made the list. Canned foods did not.
Myth #5: Taste
Because foods meant for canning are harvested at peak freshness and ripeness, they retain full flavor for quite awhile when properly stored.
Myth #6: Dented cans
Drop a can and it will dent. They also get dented in shipping. But that doesn’t necessarily mean foods inside those cans are unsafe to eat. If a can is bulging or if the top or bottom of the can moves or makes a popping sound, the seal has probably been broken and should be thrown out.