Canned food has been part of our way of life for many decades now. We all eat something from a can at least a couple of times a month. Fresh food is great, no doubt, but many of us keep cans of different foods in the pantry and quite regularly grab the can opener when cooking. Think soups. Think chilli. Think fruits and vegetables. Even think about that canned pumpkin you use for pumpkin pie. Sometimes a recipe calls for canned items, while other times we buy canned items because they’re well priced, convenient when we need them, they taste good, and they keep for a long, long time. Cans are also the most common things we donate to food banks.
Despite how much canned food features in our lives, some negative perceptions persist about it. This is unfortunate because many of those perceptions are not accurate. They’ve been fueled by rumors and tales.
So, ensure you have the best can opener money can buy because we’re about to bust some common canned food misconceptions and myths.
Myth: Canned Foods Are Heavily Processed
Don’t be fooled by the push for ‘natural’ foods that canned food automatically means it is heavily processed. A common misconception is that the canning process somehow changes the food and turns it into ‘Frankenfood’. This is simply not true when it comes to fruits and vegtables, at least. Canned stuff is nothing like the pizzas you order, the burgers you eat, or the prepared lasagnas or perogies in your grocery store, which are very heavily processed. In reality, canned fruits and vegetables are minimally processed; the food is picked and canned at optimal ripeness and quality, then sealed.
Myth: Canned food is Not as Nutritious as Fresh or Frozen Food
Canned food is just as nutritious as most of the fresh food you can buy in the market, and in some cases, even more so. Fruits and vegetables that are canned are picked and processed at their freshest and the canning process seals in the nutrients. This is unlike fresh foods that lose nutritional value each day they’re in transport or in stores. A can of black beans or red kidney beans, for example, contains masses of great nutrients.
Canning does not take nutrients away. After sealing, a heating process kills any nasty micro-organisms but does not destroy the nutritional value.
Myth: All Canned Food is High in Sodium
Sure, some canned items are high in salt (soups, especially). But it’s a big misconception to think all canned food is like that. Besides, you get far more salt in your hot dogs, tacos, chips, pizzas, burgers, and so on. Look more closely at the labels and see how many come with no sodium added. They often say so clearly on the front. Otherwise, check the ingredient list.
Myth: Canned Food is Loaded With Preservatives
Just because canned food has a longer shelf life than its ‘fresh’ counterpart doesn’t mean it’s filled with preservatives. Many canned foods are cooked and thus don’t require preservatives to prevent spoilage. All canned foods are sealed tight. In reality, most are preservative free.
So, don’t believe the canned food myths. Don’t look down on the canned items and think they’re always a lesser option. We all eat them sometimes. Just do your due diligence, review the nutritional content posted on the label, and you might just be surprised (and delighted) by what you find.
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