Combating Canned Food Myths

You may have heard some things in the news about canned foods that portray them in a negative light. You also probably know that there are a lot of click-bait and illegitimate sources out there in today’s world. We’re here to set the record straight based on science.

Canned Food Is Healthy

Myth: Canned foods aren’t nutritious.


FACT:

Canned Food Shopping

Canned fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats and seafood are just as nutritious, and in some cases more nutritious, than their fresh and frozen counterparts.

Check out the Science Behind Canned Foods here.

Bottom line:

All forms of fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats and seafood can help achieve a healthy diet and provide needed nutrients Americans are lacking.

 

Myth: All canned foods are high in sodium.


FACT:

Canned Peaches Drained

This is simply not true. There are hundreds of canned foods available in no-salt-added, low- and no-sodium options. Nearly half (48%) of consumers surveyed are unaware canned foods can be low in sodium. The fact is canned foods do not require salt or sodium for preservation, and manufacturers are increasingly answering the demand for lower sodium varieties of your favorite canned foods. The folks at the Produce for Better Health Foundation dive into this myth further here.

There are more low sodium options in the canned food aisle than ever before. And draining and rinsing the food can reduce sodium levels by up to 41%; draining alone results in a 36% sodium reduction.

Find out more on the Truth About Sodium in Canned Foods here.

Bottom line:

All canned, fresh and frozen vegetables contribute less than 1% of American’s sodium intake; so eat your vegetables, no matter what form they come in. The benefits far outweigh the alternative.

 

Myth: Canned foods are filled with preservatives.


FACT:

Canned Carrots

Although canned foods do not require preservatives, in a recent survey, more than 65% of respondents (incorrectly) believe they do. Just like foods canned at home, foods packaged in steel cans are already cooked – the process of “canning” preserves the food, so there is no need for preservatives to prevent spoilage. In fact, most canned foods are preservative-free.

An article on cansciencenews.com warns the public about bloggers spreading false information. The author writes, “One blogger claims that salt is used in canning ‘so that it can keep the food from rotting.’ Needless to say, you need more than a grain of salt when reading this assertion — it’s not true at all.” Learn more about the myth of preservatives in canned foods by reading the full article here. 

Bottom line:

The actual canning process itself preserves the food inside. Find out more about the canning process here.

 

Myth: BPA (Bisphenol A), which is in the linings of some food cans, is harmful to me, the consumer.


FACT:

Woman Buying Canned Food

The truth about the use of Bisphenol A in the protective linings of SOME (not all) metal food containers is the result of more than 60 years of research to develop the safest and most effective food can linings. Linings of canned foods serve an important role, creating a barrier between the metal and the food contained inside to maintain the safety, quality and nutritional value of these products.

Bottom line:

The FDA, among other international food safety agencies, has evaluated the extensive body of science and continue to affirm BPA’s safety in food packaging. “The available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging,” according to the FDA’s statement on BPA. Read more straight from the FDA here.

It is also worth noting, due to consumer interest many can companies have found an alternative to BPA-lined metal packaging and are in the process of transitioning or have already moved to new can coatings. The Canned Food Alliance has more on BPA here.

 

In conclusion…

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At the end of the day, Americans are falling short on key nutrients. Having “All Forms” of fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats and seafood on hand provides more options to increase your nutrient intake. After all, food is not nutritious unless it is consumed, and canned food is there when you need it! Enjoying balanced meals that include all forms of foods can lead to a healthy diet. And people should feel good about being able to enjoy cost-efficient, convenient, nutritious canned food all year long. There are hundreds of varieties of canned food available, packed in shelf-stable, recyclable steel cans. See how canned foods can add flavor and increase nutrient intake by viewing our recipes and additional information.

For more information and resources about achieving a healthy diet, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.