question comes from a friend: "I know someone who is
moving to the sticks for an extended period, and will probably
go into town once a week for groceries. However, refrigeration
is very, very limited. How can he make sure he gets his leafy
greens and such with no refrigerator to keep things
advise your friend to eat his leafy greens on the days he goes
to town … when they are as fresh as possible. Fresh produce
loses valuable nutrients during days of storage, even with
a comprehensive study on this topic by the University of
California at Davis found that — by the time they are
consumed — fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables and fruit may
contain similar amounts of nutrients.
fruits and vegetables are packed at their peak of freshness
and retain most of their original nutrients since the canning
process shields the food from oxygen. The heating process of
canning primarily lowers the vitamin C content of canned food,
the researchers said.
nutrients may be more concentrated in canned foods. One-half
cup of canned tomatoes, for example, contains almost 12 grams
of lycopene — an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk
for heart disease and some cancers such as prostate cancer. A
medium fresh (uncooked) tomato contains less than 4 grams of
pumpkin, according to data from the United States Department
of Agriculture, contains more than three times the vitamin A
as fresh cooked pumpkin. Lutein — an antioxidant in corn
known to protect the eyes from cataracts and macular
degeneration — was found by researchers at Cornell
University to more bioavailable in canned corn than
treatment also kills dangerous bacteria. And in the case of
canned carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, it also enhances the
body’s absorption of carotene, an antioxidant that converts
to vitamin A in the body. And Oregon State University
scientists found that canned blueberries have some enhanced
antioxidant benefits over fresh blueberries.
your friend stock up on citrus fruits like oranges and
grapefruit that don’t require refrigeration and are rich
sources of the vitamin C he needs. Keep his leafy greens as
cool as possible and eat them within 1 or 2 days.
to ditch the salt shaker, since canned foods are notoriously
high in sodium. Or look for lower sodium versions.
too, that canned food is cooked food. A canned pear is a
poached pear. Canned tuna has been filleted and steamed.
Canned beans have been soaked and simmered. This might save
him some energy costs.
say the canning process helps a food maintain its quality and
nutrient content for about two years. And it remains safe to
eat as long as the container is not bulging or leaking,
according to the Canned Food Alliance.
line. Fresh, frozen, or canned, your friend in the sticks
needs a variety of foods from each nutrient group: fruit,
vegetables, grains, protein, and calcium sources. A study at
the University of Massachusetts concluded that "it’s
the ingredients you choose, not the form of the ingredients,
that really determine a recipe’s nutrient content."