Is canned food good for you?
Canning as a means to survive has been around for hundreds of years, but this preservation method is used today as an accessible and affordable solution to our nation’s need for safe, nutritious and quality foods. Canned food can be stored for long periods of time allowing an easy and convenient way for families to add nutrient-dense foods to their diets. There is a misconception that canned food isn’t nutritious, but that’s just not the case. Studies show that, “frequent canned food use is positively assocatiated with nutrient-dense food group consuption and higher nutrient intakes in US children and adults.” (source)
Many canned food products do not need preservatives because they are heated and sealed in air-tight containers (Check your can labels for ingredients!) Can truth: Food cans are the safest form of food packaging, protecting against food-borne illness AND the can industry is moving away from BPA and about 90% of cans have replaced BPA liners.
Canned food is picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately canned, locking in it’s flavor and nutrition.
I had the chance to travel to Indianapolis as part of the Refreshingly Real Farm-to-Can tour to debunk the myth that canned food is inferior to fresh food. We toured Triple S farm, a fourth-generation family-owned tomato farm, that grows tomatoes for the Red Gold brand of tomato products. Red Gold is also a fourth-generation family operated business that takes great pride in their 75 years of producing quality canned tomatoes, ketchup, sauces, salsas, and juices. These are Midwest family farms growing food for family-operated businesses like Red Gold, who put the quality food in your family’s cupboards!
We saw the process of the tomatoes being picked in the field (at the peak of freshness) and then we followed the truck to the canning facility just a few short miles away! The tomatoes then followed an intense process of being thoroughly washed and hand inspected. The tomatoes can go from the field to the can in as little as four hours! Did you know fresh produce can take up to 24 DAYS from field to store?
Metal food cans are 100% recyclable and can be recycled again and again, forever, without loss of strength or quality.
Red Gold is obsessive about producing the best tomatoes in the most sustainable and environmentally-conscious way. Their mission statement is to embrace, promote and model economic, environmental, and social practices that respect and improve the quality of life for future generations. They are the largest privately-owned tomato processor in the nation and despite producing 8 million cans of tomato products per day, they have actually become landfill free. This dedication and desire for a better world shows how important producing a quality product is for Red Gold.
Most consumers don’t realize that not only is canned food nutritious, but it is environmentally-friendly and helps curb food waste. Fruit and vegetables are harvested and canned within hours, which minimizes the impact on the environment. Aluminum and steel cans are actually 100% recyclable and 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today!