What Canned Food Can You Eat Cold: Survival Comes First

Getting a meal after TEOTWAWKI isn’t going to be as easy as it is now, and you may need to rely on canned foods for a while. What canned food can you eat cold? Is it safe to pop open a can and eat, or are some foods only safe once you cook them? Well, there are several ways canned food gets compromised. Always discard a broken or leaky can. Especially if you’re canning for yourself, it’s vital to check your supplies regularly. Moreover, you should follow all the safety precautions scrupulously. That said, canned foods are cooked. You’ll never see ‘raw’ canned food. Eating cold hash and beans may not be your idea of an enjoyable time, but it will keep you alive. All you need is a can opener to stave off starvation.

What canned food can you eat cold? You can eat any canned food cold. Although some options certainly taste better once you heat them, all canned foods are pre-cooked. The process for canning applies heat to the cans even when the manufacturer didn’t necessarily cook the food inside before that. Grab a spoon or fork and dig in. 

Best Can Food to Eat Cold

If you must eat can food cold, knowing what to eat will help you stay healthy. In an emergency, there are two possibilities. First, you might have a temporary problem. Second, you could be looking at long-term survival.

In the first case, eat as healthy as you can. Stick to low sodium vegetables and get through your short-term situation. There’s no need to worry about a power outage or analogous situation if you have something to fill your stomach.

However, when SHTF and it might be a while, you’re looking at different issues and needs. Typically, if things go very badly, you’re using more energy. Things might go back to ‘normal,’ but they also might not.

Particularly in a TEOTWAWKI situation, you’re going to burn calories fast. With so many things to do, you could lose fat and muscle rapidly. In this case, you need meat. Our ancestors survived on meat protein, and so can you. It’s also important to have multivitamins, but those don’t come in cans.

When you’re running around, setting up generators, and planning for long-term survival, it’s easy to forget how much extra energy you use. Salt and protein will help you stay alive and functional. Choose classic wartime-type canned goods with high-quality meat that will last on a shelf. Add a good starch-based carb source for energy.

Grab a case or three of SPAM from Amazon. This staple is the classic go-to canned food for excellent reasons. Not only did this supply get millions of soldiers and civilians through a war, but it’s packed with protein and starchy carbs your body needs in a tough situation. Better still, these cans have a ring pull, so you don’t need anything to get at the salty goodness inside. Read thousands of five-star reviews by clicking here.

When Should You Not Eat Canned Food?

There are some canned foods you should never eat cold and knowing the difference could save your life. Mostly, commercially canned goods are fine to eat from a can. Home canning efforts can go wrong more easily. Especially if you run across something like home-canned pumpkin, the chances of botulism are higher.

It is crucial to check your canned goods regularly for any problems. Please keep them in a cool, dry environment. Moreover, anything in a jar needs to be kept away from the light because it will degrade faster. The following list will help you look out for problem foods.

Don’t Eat These Canned Foods

Canned foods don’t ‘expire’ in the same way as fresh food. Instead, they have a best-by and a use-by date on the label. A couple of years is usually the maximum for canned food. Some things will last a lot longer, but it’s still essential to check the food before eating it.  Look for these problems.

  1. If you open a can and it doesn’t smell good, don’t eat it. Your nose knows when food is not safe for you.
  2. Look for discoloration and mold growth. Even if you don’t smell a problem, you may be able to see that something is off. When in doubt, get rid of it. It’s not worth getting food poisoning.
  3. Damaged and leaking cans are no good. The holes, even when tiny, allow oxygen and contaminants to spoil your food. A dent is one thing, but any breaches are a grave concern.
  4. Any can that looks swollen is no longer food. When food rots, it creates gas. Those gases can cause the can to swell. Don’t even try to open these cans.

Choosing high-quality food is essential. Moreover, when you stock your emergency pantry, get a system of rotation going. You want to eat the oldest cans first. Put the freshest food at the back of the shelves like they do in a grocery store.

A case of Armour Star Corned Beef Hash from Amazon is a safe choice. Low in sugar and salt but higher than most in protein, this simple beef and potato dish is tasty whether you cook it or not. When you use a lot of energy, as you do in survival situations, you need more protein. At twenty-two grams per serving, this is one canned food that will keep you going. Get yours by clicking here. 

Are All Canned Foods Ready-To-Eat?

The FDA requires all US canned foods to be pre-cooked. That means you know what food you can eat cold easily. The answer is ‘all of it.’

While some foods certainly don’t taste as delicious cold, they are all safe to eat. The process for canning cooks everything, whether it was raw when it went into the container or not. This process keeps your canned food shelf stable.

More importantly, the heating process is what kills bacteria. The food is made sterile through cooking. Hence, all canned food is edible cold.

Get a full meal in every can of Aztec Ensalada from Freshé Gourmet Canned Tuna. This wild-caught, non-GMO food will do more than merely provide a few calories. With red beans, corn, bell peppers, and onion, this is one canned meal that tastes like gourmet food. Better still, this is meant to be eaten cold. Find out more on Amazon when you click here. 

Can You Eat Canned Food Straight from the Can?

Some canned foods have a metallic flavor when they come from the can. That may cause you to worry about what foods you can eat cold. Covering the vague ‘tin’ flavor doesn’t make them safer. Doing this makes food taste better.

Whether you have a spoon, a pocketknife, or just your fingers, you can dig right in. The biggest danger of eating directly from a can is that the edges are often sharp once it’s open. Be careful not to cut your fingers because the food inside will contaminate the wound.

Some canned foods are easier to eat out of a can. For example, many soups are protein-rich and easy to sip when you’re on the go. Anything with a ring-pull tab is fantastic because you don’t need to worry about using a can opener.

An easy-open tab, such as you find on sardines and soups, has another distinct advantage. Can openers take time, and they tend to produce a loud, distinctive sound. Meanwhile, a pop-top can is much faster and usually quieter to open. As a result, you will have an easier time being incognito, or at least quieter.

You won’t always need to sneak a meal. Still, it’s good to know that you can cover your hand and the top of a can with some fabric for a quiet pop. After that, a slow pull will get you a near-silent open can. Combine that with a drinkable, balanced, protein-packed soup, and you have a fast, healthy, stealthy meal for any situation.

A great option for straight-from-can eating is Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request Soup. These flavorful and substantial soups come in plenty of tantalizing flavors. Best of all, they don’t have as much salt as some canned goods do, so you won’t end up feeling thirsty in five minutes. Have Amazon deliver to your door by clicking here. 

Final Thoughts

Cold canned food will never be as delicious as a gourmet lunch, but it might save your life. Learning when you can eat canned food cold and when you should throw it out might seem unnecessary, but food poisoning is a lot more dangerous when society crumbles, and there’s no hospital to save you. Luckily, most cans will be good for years.

I strongly recommend learning a few unusual ways to open those cans. Even if you don’t have a can opener, you can get at those well-preserved contents if you have the patience. You never know when you’ll find yourself hungry and without your usual gear. Luckily, once it’s open, you can eat most things without any equipment at all.

Canned foods don’t care about emergencies. They were made to last as pre-cooked, shelf-stable supplies regardless of the circumstances, so eat up.

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