I think canned food gets a bad rap. Canned foods used to be lined with BPA and BPA has been linked with certain diseases and ailments. However, over 90% of canned foods are moving away from BPA and lining their canned foods with safer alternatives.

Nutritional content is also a lot higher than people realize. Through the canning and heating process, companies try to retain as much nutrition as possible.

No, it’s not fresh food. Canning is a way to preserve food for an extended period of time. Commercial canning is a bit of a different process than canning at home, though still just as good, in my personal opinion. Botulism is always a concern, though has been less of a concern with commercial canned foods.

Each can will have a ‘best buy’ date on it, though some types of canned foods can last anywhere from 5-10 years past the ‘best buy’ date.

Keeping canned foods in cool, dry, dark places will extend the shelf life. However, rotating often is highly recommended. Each time you head to the grocery store, grab an extra can or two, move the old ones up front and the newer ones towards the back.

Look out for cans that have been dented, keep those up front and eat them first. Cans that look like they’re bulging, throw away. They may not safe to consume. Pop top cans may not last as long, but they still have a good shelf life.

In general, canned goods can last quite a while, especially if kept in ideal conditions. I’ve kept canned goods 5 years past the ‘best buy’ date, opened them and they were perfectly fine.

Of course, in the end, trust your gut. Getting sick is never in anyone’s best interest.

Here are the top 50 canned foods to add to your food storage:

  1. Soups
  2. Chicken/beef/vegetable broth
  3. Spam
  4. Roast beef
  5. Ham
  6. Turkey
  7. Chicken
  8. Pulled pork
  9. Vienna sausages
  10. Potted meat
  11. Tuna
  12. Salmon
  13. Sardines
  14. Squid
  15. Clams
  16. Beans; black, kidney, refried, pinto, baked
  17. Pie filling
  18. Condensed/evaporated milk
  19. Cheese
  20. Butter
  21. Tomato paste/chunks/diced
  22. Ravioli
  23. Bacon
  24. Potatoes
  25. Yams
  26. Corn
  27. Peas
  28. Carrots
  29. Green beans
  30. Baby corn
  31. Spinach
  32. Beets
  33. Cream corn
  34. Asparagus
  35. Mixed veggies
  36. Mixed fruit
  37. Pears
  38. Oranges
  39. Pineapple
  40. Peaches
  41. Pumpkin
  42. Cranberry sauce
  43. Corned beef hash
  44. Chili
  45. Gravy
  46. Alfredo sauce
  47. Spaghetti sauce
  48. Olives
  49. Coconut milk
  50. Brown bread

A few last bits of advice:

  • Store what you eat. If you don’t like spam, then don’t store spam.
  • If you are going to try something new, try it before storing it.
  • Some of these items need extra rotation, such as high acidic foods like tomato sauces.
  • Cook with your food storage! Get creative with these items and learn how to use them in everyday meals.
  • Consider getting some of the fish items in oil and use that oil in the meal you cook with to get those extra fats.

Browse your local grocery store and discover the plentiful abundance of canned food items!