When price, waste and preparation time are considered canned foods may have an edge over fresh foods according to a new study1.
Published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences , the study from Tufts University in the USA compared the cost of obtaining key nutrients from canned, fresh, frozen and dried varieties of common foods. Examples of foods included were corn, peas, tomatoes, pears and peaches. All foods were cooked and then the nutrient levels were compared. When all areas were considered canned foods almost always offered a more affordable, convenient way to get needed-nutrients. For example, when the waste associated with fresh corn (primarily the cob) and the preparation time is factored in canned corn provides the same amount of dietary fibre as fresh but with a 25% cost saving.
Many families are struggling to meet dietary recommendations with challenging budgetary constraints. This study should assure consumers that canned foods are a cost-effective and easy way to provide important nutrients for their family. An additional benefit is that canned foods have a longer shelf life than fresh so food preparers can save money by avoiding spoilage.
For consumers concerned about the sodium levels in canned foods there are now many canned foods with little or no added salt available.
1 Kapica C, Weiss W (2012) Canned Fruits, Vegetables, Beans and Fish Provide Nutrients at a Lower Cost Compared to Fresh, Frozen or Dried. J Nutr Food Sci 2:131. doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000131