Now is the perfect time to add canned food to your food storage plan
Yes, there really is such a thing as National Canned Food Month! If you look for local sales and manufacturer coupons, you can be sure that this obscure holiday will save you money.
Plus purchasing canned food is a great way to begin, or add to, your food storage.
Stocking up on canned food can help you prepare quick and inexpensive meals and be a lifesaver when the power goes out.
Not that I don’t rely on my own canned food too! I love a good bulk buy, but I have not been able to grow or purchase enough fresh produce to supply my family’s needs. Many fruits and vegetables grow only in certain parts of the world, under specific temperature and humidity requirements and some I am not able to grow at all.
I use purchased canned food as part of my short term food storage and my local grocery store has a major canned food case sale every year in February and October. I always stock up and purchase what I will need for the next year.
Canned Food Shelf Life and Storage
Vegetables and fruits have a shelf life of 1 to 2 years. Canned meat and poultry will keep at best quality 2 to 5 years if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, dry place. High acid foods such as tomatoes and oranges can be stored up to 18 months.
If in doubt, throw it out. NEVER USE food from containers that show possible “botulism” warnings: leaking, bulging, or badly dented cans; cracked jars or jars with loose or bulging lids; canned food with a foul odor; or any container that spurts liquid when opening. DON’T TASTE IT! Even a small amount of botulinum toxin can be deadly.
As you would with your other food storage, be careful about where they are stored. Keep them cool, clean and dry. For maximum shelf life, never put cans
- above the stove,
- under the sink,
- in a damp garage or basement,
- directly on cement floors, or
- any place exposed to high or low temperature extremes.
Canned food will hold its nutritional value for years
According to a study at the University of California, Davis (reference) canned fruits and vegetables are often regarded as less nutritious than fresh or frozen products, research reveals that this is not always true. Food stored in properly sealed cans actually have the same nutrient value as fresh or frozen food.
Nutrition research reported on mealtime.org says that “some canned foods actually yield higher amounts of essential nutrients than their fresh or frozen counterparts as the cooking process concentrates the food. In addition, in some cases, the heating process used in canning enhances the degree to which some naturally occurring, disease-fighting compounds are absorbed by the body.”
Every family has their favorite canned foods to eat. Maybe your family doesn’t care for canned corn and your kids hate it so much you can’t even disguise it in a casserole. Keep trying until you find ones they will eat. Most fruits are a big hit and my family wouldn’t be without them. The next time your electricity goes out, you’ll be glad a can of prepared meat or stew is in the back of the cupboard. Don’t forget to have a manual can opener!
If you are concerned about BPA in the cans here are a few ways to reduce your exposure from plastics see 10 ways to reduce exposure. Sarah O’Leary is a a healthy eating specialist and a registered dietitian “If you’re only going to worry about BPA with one thing, focus on tomatoes,” O’Leary says. “Due to their high acidity, they encourage the leaching of BPA into the food. So I point customers to diced tomatoes or sauces from Eden or Muir Glen.”
Having your food in cans that are fully recyclable is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. Which is another thing to consider if you are trying to cut down on the waste your family produces, like I am.
Because of their long life, canned foods are a perfect donation item for local food banks. Often churches, scout troops, and schools host canned food drives to gather nonperishable items for local food banks. Feeding America provides a search tool to find local food banks to donate directly.
The 10 Best Canned Food Items to Have on Hand
- complete meals – soup, spaghetti & meatballs, stew
- tomatoes – sauce and paste
- soup – broth & condensed
- meat – chicken turkey
- sauces & gravy
- juice – tomato. carrot
There are other “obscure” food holidays and grocery sales cycles that you can take advantage of. Living Richly on a Budget has compiled the information for us.
Jan – Oatmeal
Feb – Canned food month, seasonal produce
Mar – Frozen food month
Apr – Seasonal produce
May –Salas & tortillas
June – Dairy Month….see their website for more information and the rest of the year.
What does your family typically eat that you purchase in cans? Is there something they won’t touch? Let me know in the comments below.
Shared with: – From the Farm Hop –