Canned foods : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This may be a very elementary question for most people, and I searched through the postings but didn't find this particular question: How long can you store canned foods? They don't put dates on the cans, do they? Also, why should you not buy a can that is dented? I know these are pretty basic questions but I admit it, I'm not used to buying and eating canned foods. I'm so used to my mom cooking for us or eating fast food.

-- (, March 24, 1999


This is from a previous thread entitled A little food help...PlEEEze. Mr.K gives the URL. dry grains and potatos (cheap; high-cal; keeps well) dry beans and lentils (cheap; high-cal; high-protein; keeps well) pasta, spaghetti, noodles, etc. (cheap; high-cal; keeps well) canned foods, low acid: meat, poultry, fish, gravy, stew, soups, beans carrots, corn, pasta, peas, potatoes, spinach (2-5 years shelf life) canned foods, high acid: juices, fruit, pickles, saurkraut, tomato, soup, and foods packed in vinegar (12-18 months shelf life) peanut butter (very high-cal; high protein; keeps poorly; use first) canola oil, olive oil (very high-cal; keeps poorly; use first) lard (very high-cal; keeps fairly well) honey, molasses and sugar (high-cal; keeps forever) dry fruit (high-cal; keeps fairly well) dry potatos & veggies (moderate-cal; high-vitamin; keeps fairly well) dry milk (moderate-cal; high protein/vitamin; must be sealed) dry yeast (very high protein/vitamin; must be sealed) dry drink mixes, kool-aid (keeps well) coffee, tea bags, hot cocoa mix, chocolate wine (moderate-cal; antioxidant; psychotonic; REDS keep 2+ yrs) distilled spirits (high-cal; keeps forever; psychotonic) salt, pepper, bullion cubes, etc. herbal seasonings, cinnamon, ginger, basil, hot sauce, curry, etc. Selecting Food With Minimal Cooking Requirement: This is important, as abundant power/fuel for cooking (as we now take for granted) may not be available, or may be available only at much higher cost. Toasted buckwheat (kasha), oatmeal, oat bran, (tiny) red lentils, and millet cook faster than other grains and beans. For example, oat bran or dry powdered potato require no more than addition of boiling water (no real cooking), and kasha cooks up in 5 minutes. In contrast, large dry beans take hours of simmering. For the same reason, consider canned foods, which require neither cooking nor added water (big advantages!), and sometimes are nearly as cheap as the dry stuff. I've seen 1 lb cans of kidney beans as low as .25 on sale (450 calories, equivalent to over 1/4 lb dry beans).

General Nutrition: For winter or long-term economic survival the low-fat ideal is worthless. High-fat and high-calorie (energy density) are the desirable values. You need plenty of calories to maintain warmth and energy; fat is the most efficient and economical source of calories. A useful winter survival technique is to simply eat more high-cal food; calories create inner warmth. Note that calories can be a useful shorthand in food storage planning: assuming a variety of natural foods (including grains, beans, and some animal products), your basic nutritional requirements will likely be met simply by allowing adequate calories. A pound of dry grains and beans (about 1600-1800 cals) supplies a fair amount of protein and a lot of micronutrients, plus fiber and other good stuff. Toss in an ounce or two of oil (250-500 cals) and a few other odds and ends, and you have a one-day ration for most people -- plain but adequate for weeks or months.

Over the longer term, certain nutrients (vitamins A and C, calcium) would become a problem, absent fresh food and dairy. Supplemental vitamin C and a multiple vitamin/mineral (see section on Nutrients) should certainly be part of your stash, in any case.

------------------------------- The above information is in its entirety on Stockpiling in Preparation for Y2K

Hope this helps.

Mr. K ***could live off his own fat for a month***

-- Mr. Kennedy (, March 20, 1999.

-- shellie (, March 24, 1999.

A couple cautions on the times given for safe storage above:

Tomatoes and tomato products have a shelf life of two years max in metals cans - three years if in glass. Most other veggies are three years. Canned meat and fish is five years, unless it has veggies in it, like corned beef hash or stew, then it's three years.

Here's a site that gives you specifics, like date codes and such, on brand-name canned goods:

Storag e Life of Groceries

-- sparks (, March 24, 1999.

And as for the question about not buying dented cans -- if the can is dented, the seal might be broken. If it is, the food is exposed and goes bad quickly, eliminating the reason for canning in the first place.

-- Don (, March 25, 1999.

Also, dented cans may still be sealed, but their inner coating is stressed, and this may lead to internal rust and then to leakage or contamination and then growth of ugly little anaerobes, none of which does the human body like.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 25, 1999.

Kicking to top, useful for newbies.

-- Old Git (, May 24, 1999.

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