Canned Or Fresh, Which Is Best?

Can you get healthy food from a can?

When you calculate cost, waste, availability and nutrition there is a scale on which to measure the value of canned versus fresh foods.

The conclusion: when price, waste and preparation time were factored in, canned foods won out as the most convenient and affordable source of nutrients. For instance, canned pinto beans cost $1 less per serving as a source of protein and fiber than dried beans. That’s because it takes about six minutes to prepare a can of pinto beans, compared to 2½ hours for dried beans, after soaking and cooking. (The researchers calculated meal prep and cooking time at $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage in New Jersey where the research was conducted.)

“While all forms of the foods — canned, frozen, fresh and dried — were nutritious, when you added the cost of the inedible portions and the cost of the time to prepare to the price, in most cases the canned versions delivered nutrients at a lower total cost.”

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