DURING AND AFTER a natural disaster such as the volcano eruption and hurricanes, people turn to canned food to provide a fast and reliable source of food supply. Due to displacement and the disruption of utilities to prepare food, the consumption of non-perishable foods such as canned meats, peanut butter, canned or dry soups, powered milk, cereals etc. may be the main source of food during the immediate aftermath of such events.
While canned foods are consumed by many of us on a daily basis, an increase in the frequency and the quantity of these products can occur after these natural disasters. In the short term, these foods will help to provide the needed nourishment until things return to normal.
Canned foods will usually remain safe to eat as long as it has a good seal.
Do not use canned foods that bulge, leak, squirt liquid, contain mold or have an off-odor when opened. Any of these may indicate the presence of bacteria which could be harmful if eaten. Check the expiration dates on canned foods before consumption.
Foods way past the recommend time can develop mold, bacteria, and yeast, causing them to give warning signs to your senses. Spoiled food will usually look different in texture and color, smell unpleasant, and taste bad before it becomes unsafe to eat.
While canned foods provide an immediate relief during and after a natural disaster, it is important to note that there can be health implications from the prolonged and excessive used of such foods.
Canned foods, especially processed foods can be high in sodium. Foods such as canned soups, breads, and processed meats generally contain a lot of added sodium.
Consuming an excessive amount of sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Many processed foods also contain added sugar that is also not healthy.
Some processed foods contain trans fats, which in any amount are associated with higher risk for clogged arteries. These substances form when oils
are chemically altered to make them stiffer at room temperature. You are most likely to find trans fats in crackers, cookies, frozen pizza, and baked goods like pastries, pies, and donuts. Pay attention to the nutrition facts label on packaged foods for what they contain.
Finally, not all canned or processed food are bad.
One should read the food ingredients to assess the item’s nutritional value.
Canned foods can be a nutritious option when fresh foods are not available.
They provide essential nutrients and are convenient in these circumstances.
However, canned foods are also a significant source of BPA, which may cause health problems. Canned foods can be a part of a healthy diet, but it is important to read labels and choose accordingly.