Essay: Fresh Foods and Canned

Pages: 3 (1018 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

Fresh V. Canned Food

According to Apovian, "Vegetables fresh from the farm or just picked are more nutritious than their frozen or canned counterparts, but frozen and canned vegetables are an acceptable nutritional alternative." Fresh foods have several distinct advantages vs. their canned versions. For one, fresh foods usually but not always look better and have a better texture than canned foods. However, canned foods also have important advantages over their fresh counterparts including yearlong availability. Some canned foods actually have a higher nutritional content than fresh foods (Davies & Barrett). However, many canned foods also contain additives. The main differences between fresh and canned foods include nutritional content; taste and texture; and convenience.

In terms of nutritional content, fresh foods are "nutritionally ideal," and "more nutritious" than their canned counterparts (Davies & Barrett; Apovian). Vegetables that are fully fresh, such as those plucked right from a garden or purchased at a farmer's market, contain the most nutrients possible. Unfortunately, many large supermarket chains and produce stores receive vegetables after they have been shipped over long distances and often overseas. By the time those fruits and vegetables reach the consumer they have lost a considerable amount of their nutritional content. On the other hand, most canned produce is "packaged immediately after harvesting, when nutrient levels are at their highest," (Davies & Barrett). Grocery stores often do not have the freshest fish, either. A fish fresh caught that day will have the highest possible nutrient content, but once it reaches a grocery store and has been washed, cut, fillet, and packaged, its nutrient content is diminished. In fact, canning "may actually increase calcium levels" for some fish (Davies & Barrett). Canned food does have many nutritional drawbacks vs. fresh foods, though. Most canned foods contain preservatives, salt, sugar, and other additives. A fresh version of the same food is simply the raw ingredient with no additives. With added salt, preservatives, or sugar in canned food, the nutritional value of that food is diminished considerably and it is no longer such a healthy choice for individuals on strict diets such as those with diabetes.

Another main difference between canned and fresh foods is their taste and texture. A canned green bean is soft, waxy, and almost mushy. A fresh green bean is crunchy and pops in the mouth. The fresh green bean tastes different from the canned one. Even if taste preference is subjective, the difference between the canned and fresh versions of any food is palpable. Not all fresh foods taste better than their canned counterparts. The canning process enhances some foods because they are cooked first, allowing natural sugars and starches to emerge such as with canted tomatoes, beans, legumes, and starchy vegetables like pumpkin or corn. The fresh version of those foods still has a different taste and texture from the fresh version. Cooked fresh tomatoes taste different from canned tomatoes and are crisper and more acidic. The differences in taste and texture between cooked and canned foods sometimes make one or the other choice more appropriate in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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