I am not a big fan of canned foods. I definitely prefer fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.
But, sometimes there are days when I’m too darn tired and busy to cook!
Other times there are emergencies, like hurricanes and snowstorms. And, in times like those, canned foods come in really handy.
One of the main caveats of eating canned foods is the high levels of toxic Bisphenol A (BPA) that has been linked with cancer and infertility. BPA is the hard plastic coating used to coat the inside of the can.
For the sake of good health, eat fresh food most often and canned food least often. And, I would highly suggest you seek out canned food that is BPA free.
If you are like most folks and cannot allot time in your schedule to cook beans from scratch, canned beans are a great alternative. As with all canned products, purchase cans free of dents, cracks, rust, and bulging lids, which could mean the safety of the food has been compromised. Canned beans can safely be stored in your pantry for two to five years.
Also, be conscious of the salt content and seek out brands made with sea salt (a better quality salt) or Kombu (sea vegetable). Remember to rinse canned beans before eating them to help release some of their gaseous properties.
Other canned foods to store in the cupboard are fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, kippers, and tuna – whichever you enjoy most.
A healthful hint about canned sardines and salmon: if you are seeking an extra boost of calcium purchase them with bones intact rather than the skinless boneless type. Bones are a great source of calcium; and once the sardine or salmon is mashed to make a delicious fish salad, the bones break down and you don’t even know they are there. Then you can enjoy it as you would a tuna salad sandwich.
Remember, if you acquire your calcium and essential fats in the food they naturally come with, your body will have an easier time digesting and absorbing the nutrients. I’ve had many clients who complained they could not digest fish oil pills (the oil kept repeating on them or gave them a stomach ache). Once they stopped swallowing fish oil pills and started eating the actual fish with all of the other nutrients intact, the indigestion magically disappeared. Voila!
Canned tuna, because of its high mercury content, is best not eaten too often, maybe one or two times per month. Many studies have proven mercury is not healthful for the fetus and contributes to birth defects, damage to the nervous system, brain damage, learning disabilities, and hearing loss. 
When purchasing canned tuna, go for the brands that ensure the fish is “wild” or “sustainably caught.”
Tomatoes are a traditional food that has been canned: including diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Canned tomatoes and other high-acid foods such as juices, fruits, pickles, and sauerkraut can keep in the pantry for twelve to eighteen months. Low acid foods such as vegetables and meat can be stored for two years or longer.
I always keep some canned foods in my pantry. And, when the threat of a hurricane or snowstorm looms over New York City, I feel secure that I could have food for quite a few days, even if we had no power (gas & electric) to cook.
Just remember to keep a non-electric can-opener in your home otherwise you’ll be in deep doody!
The above excerpted from Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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