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posted Oct 12, 2009, 5:34 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 21, 2013, 10:19 AM by site admin ]
There are a few myths surrounding tinned food so let’s deal with those now:

1. They’re just not as good for you as fresh or frozen
Most canned foods are cooked after they’ve been sealed in the can, so all the nutrients from the fresh ingredients stay in the can. As with the freezing process, most fresh food bound for tins is canned as soon as possible after harvesting.

2. Canned foods contain lots of preservatives
That aforementioned process of canning means that all foods are cooked in the can once it is sealed, which locks in nutrients and also gives cans their long shelf life without the need for preservatives. It’s the canning process itself that is the natural preservative. 

3. Canned food is high in salt
It can be, but is not for preservation purposes, the extra salt is just to add taste. Often with things like vegetables, if you drain and rinse the contents first you can wash away a good percentage. Otherwise start studying the back of tins for low salt (or no salt) versions.

4. Canned food is easily overcooked
So now we know that canned food is pre-cooked, it turns out there’s a reason why tinned food has the potential to go a bit mushy. So add the tinned stuff at the end of a recipe. 

As you would imagine, cans are easy to store. Here are Canned Food UK’s top tips for storing canned food:

  • Keep cans in a cool, dry place
  • Don’t buy cans past their use-by-date, (best-before is less of a problem) and avoid dented, rusted or swelling cans
  • If the can isn’t dated (they almost always are), use a permanent marker to note the date you purchased the can and consume within 12 months – just to be safe
  • It’s a good idea to rotate your canned goods, ensuring the oldest is at the front of your cupboard so that it’s used first
  • After opening the can, remove leftover food and store in an air-tight container in a fridge
  • Most cans have easy-open tops now, but don’t forget to keep a can-opener in your mobile home just in case!

I’ve got to say that cans are easy, if you remember the tin opener (at this point I pass my thanks to the many people I’ve camped next door to over the years). I’m a big fan of tins when it also comes to foodstuffs that are a bit of a faff any other way – artichoke hearts and lentils are a great example of this. 

Take a look at the Canned Food UK website: for all the nutritional information on tinned foods as well as recipes and other useful tips.