Emergency Food Supply

Survive Any Disaster with These LifeSaving Canned Food Types


Having a stocked supply of food is a must for any emergency. Canned food is an easy, dependable option. It's important to know which types provide nutrition and which should only be used as a last resort.

Canned foods come in many shapes, sizes and forms. There are tins and shelf-stable versions of common perishables like fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, and pasta. Knowing which ones have the longest shelf life and ensuring they are stored correctly will help them stay edible longer.

When stocking canned food, consider its nutritional value. Look for products with high protein and lower sodium content. Having a variety of proteins is recommended as proteins take longer to digest, providing sustained energy. Look for canned goods with extra vitamins and minerals, as these can help replenish your body's nutrients during disaster relief.

Canned Fruits

Canned fruits are awesome! Perfect for your emergency kit, they'll help you survive any disaster. Nutritious, long-lasting energy – you can use them in a ton of recipes. Plus, they store easily and last a long time – making them an ideal emergency food.

Let's find out what types of canned fruits you can get stocked up on:

Canned Apples

Canned apples are an easy-to-store meal-planning option. Filled with essential vitamins and minerals, they're not just a nutritious snack, but can also be used in baking recipes, as a salad topping and in apple pie.

Canned apples are known for their great taste and texture. Plus, they stay fresh longer than fresh apples. When buying, make sure to get cans with only natural ingredients. No added sugar or preservatives! And organic varieties are best – no artificial sweeteners or additives.

Be sure to check the expiration date too! Canned fruits can stay edible for more than a year, but the flavor and nutritional value decrease over time (especially if not stored properly). So use older cans first and replace them with newer ones when possible!

Canned Peaches

Canned peaches are a great way to add sweetness and texture to dishes. With an average shelf life of 4–5 years, they are perfect for your survival food stores. Enjoy them as a snack, with ice cream, in pudding and cobblers, in salads, or as a side dish.

The canning process locks in the flavor, color and nutrition for up to 5 years. Keep your energy levels up during a crisis with their sugar content.

Choose the best quality fruit for long shelf-life and highest nutrition. Check for signs of mold maturation. Ensure there are no dark spots on the surface. There should be no smell or visible signs of decay. Store correctly to get maximum nutrition.

Canned Pineapple

Canned pineapple is a yummy and easy way to get your tropical fruit fix all year! It's usually stored in sugary syrup or juice, keeping its flavor, texture, and nutrients for a long time. Once you open the can, you should use it right away or store it in the fridge for up to a week. It's great for salads, sandwiches, and parties. You can even freeze it for up to 12 months!

Canned pineapple still has Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and other minerals like fresh pineapple. Plus it has bromelain, an enzyme that helps with digestion, inflammation, and even cancer prevention. Eating canned pineapple often can also help with:

  • Constipation
  • Indigestion

Canned Pears

Canned pears are a great addition to any food storage plan! You can use them to top salads or to make sweet desserts. Plus, they're perfect for preserving because of their tough skins. They're available year-round, so you can always get them.

When you select your canned pears, check the label for extra sugars and preservatives. Many have only five ingredients. Canning usually includes white or light syrup, which has water, sugar, and citric acid. Sample different brands to find the best taste for your plan.

Be sure to pay attention to the shelf life of your cans. Most are good for a year when stored properly. Some can last even longer if conditions are right. Keep canned products only as long as needed until expiration.

Canned Vegetables

When faced with a crisis, canned veggies are a must-have. They're often forgotten, but they can provide essential nutrients and vitamins. Plus, they come in different forms and can be stored for ages. Perfect for stocking up on survival food!

So, let's explore the most popular types of canned veggies – and why they're essential for your survival:

Canned Corn

Canned corn is a nutritious emergency food. It has fiber, energy, protein, and vitamins. No cooking or refrigeration is needed. It is high in carbs and has thiamin, niacin, folate, and vitamin C. Some brands add vitamin B6. Whole kernel corn is better than creamed.

Choose organic and BPA-free cans. Always check the expiration date. Expired food can cause illnesses. Be prepared for an emergency!

Canned Green Beans

Canned green beans are a great addition to your disaster preparedness pantry. They taste and feel different, depending on the type and method of canning. Generally, they have an earthy flavor. Plus, they offer vitamins A and C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and iron.

They last for 1-3 years when bought commercially, but can last longer if stored correctly. Cool, dark places, away from direct sunlight, are ideal. Also, check expiration dates!

Explore the different styles available:

  • Whole/Cut Beans are long, with some broken pieces.
  • French Style is cut finer.
  • Butterbeans are large.
  • Cream Style (Petite) is small, with some liquid extracted before canning.
  • Crinkle Cut looks like ‘zoodles'.

Find them anywhere in the US. These canned green beans are full of nutrition and convenience for emergency meal prep during an emergency or disaster.

Canned Carrots

Canned carrots are a great choice for your emergency pantry! Packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, the canning process preserves their nutritional benefits. Look for natural canned carrots without salt or other preservatives. They are pre-cooked and ready to eat – no need to heat them up.

Add them to soups, stews, casseroles or salads for a nutritious boost. Or, steam or sauté them as sides, or serve plain with dip as a healthy snack. When preparing for disaster, store several cans of carrots (along with other non-perishable food items) and rotate them to keep them fresh.

Canned carrots are an essential source of vitamins, minerals, and energy – stocking up on the right foods is key when disaster hits!

Canned Peas

Canned peas are incredibly useful and versatile. They're grown during peak season, then placed into sanitized cans. No pre-cooking or peeling is required when using them – they add flavor and nutrition to dishes. They are high in vitamin A, C, iron, fiber, and protein, with no artificial preservatives or added sodium.

When buying canned peas, pay attention to the expiration date on the packaging. Store them in airtight containers at room temperature for up to three years. Once opened, take care to refrigerate them before eating.

Canned Meats

In disasters, long-shelf-life food is crucial. Canned meats are great for survival; they can last for 5 years or more, and provide protein and vitamins. They are a fast and easy source of nutrition when fresh food is limited or not available.

Let's explore types of canned meats and how to use them in an emergency:

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is a handy and long-lasting protein. White (albacore) tuna has more omega-3 fatty acids than light tuna but it is costly and contains more mercury. Now, you can find eco-friendly line-caught light or white tuna. Read the labels of products you buy to make sure you choose from a sustainable source.

Chunk light tuna is usually caught with more eco-friendly fishing methods and is also a more price-conscious option. Canned salmon is like chunk light tuna in taste but healthier due to its higher fat content. Other canned meats like chicken, turkey, and ham provide protein energy when you need it.

Canned Ham

Canned ham is great for people who need an easy-to-store food item. It can offer good nutrition instead of fresh meats and can last up to 5 years if kept in the right conditions. It is prepared differently than other canned meats and has a unique taste and feel.

When picking a canned ham, look for ones that have been cooked and canned with the bone inside. This adds flavor, texture, and interesting presentation. Make sure the canned ham you buy has the USDA seal of inspection on the label. This means it's been created under strict hygiene standards.

You can enjoy canned ham in different ways:

  • Bake whole
  • Melt into sandwiches like pastrami on rye
  • Cube into casseroles and salads

If baking whole, inject flavorful liquid (like juice or broth) to keep it moist. Don't cook it too long, as this will make it dry and tough.

Canned Chicken

Canned chicken stands out from all other canned meats. It's full of protein and comes pre-cooked. One can has 11 to 14 grams of protein and 95% of its fat content is unsaturated. Plus, you don't need to add any oil or seasoning when preparing dishes.

You can make salads, sandwiches, pot pies, and curries with it. You can also add minced/shredded canned chicken to chilis, sauces, and dips for added flavor. The only downside is that canned chicken is usually high in sodium. But, if convenience and nutrition are what you're looking for, then canned chicken is a great option!

Canned Beef

Canned beef is an essential for any food stockpile. It has a long shelf life and can be used in many dishes. Check out these varieties: ground beef, beef chunks, corned beef, and beef stew. Remember to inspect canned meats before consuming. Some might contain lead levels above the safety limit.

  • Ground beef can be used in tacos, burritos, chili, sloppy joes, and hamburgers.
  • Beef chunks are great for braised or stewed dishes.
  • Corned beef is a high-protein snack.
  • Beef stew is already cooked with potatoes, carrots, and spices – so it's ready quickly.

Store canned meats in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or less. Eat them within fourteen days after opening. Check cans for leaks or bulging – if you find any, discard the product.

Canned Soups

Canned soups are a fantastic choice when stocking up on food for those ‘just in case' moments. Easy to store, and no prep required – they can offer a nutritious meal in times of need. Let's dive into the best canned soups to have at the ready for survival!

Canned Chili

Canned chili can be a yummy and nutritious meal for your family. Eat it alone or use it in dishes like chili con carne. You can find veggie and non-veggie varieties. Beef is the norm, but other meats like chicken, turkey, and sausage could be an option. Add-ins like bell peppers, onions, carrots, jalapenos, kidney beans, and black beans give it flavor and texture. Spices like oregano, cumin, and paprika can also help!

When buying canned soups, make sure to check the expiration date. Use it up within two days of opening for maximum quality.

Canned Tomato Soup

Canned tomato soup is ideal for surviving a natural disaster. It's long-lasting and nutritious! The ingredients vary, but usually include tomatoes, veggie stock, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, salt, and spices. You can even make pasta sauce with it!

Vitamin C gives a boost to the immune system and cognitive function. Plus, tomatoes have vitamins A & K, minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. And lycopene – a carotenoid – reduces inflammation and is good for heart health.

Vegetarians and vegans don't have to worry – canned tomato soup has no animal products! So you can make balanced meals without compromising your dietary needs or flavor preferences.

Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

Canned chicken noodle soup is a classic! It's inexpensive and can be ready in just 15 minutes. Plus, it provides vitamins, minerals, and protein. It contains nine essential nutrients, making it perfect for a balanced diet. You can even add frozen veggies for more nutrition.

Hormel-brand cans are gluten-free and can be stored for up to 48 months. They come with safety features like quick tabs at the top, so you don't need a can opener.

In disaster or emergency situations, canned chicken noodle soup is the ideal choice. It's tasty and nutritious – perfect for anyone's appetite!

Canned Vegetable Soup

Canned veggie soup is the perfect convenience food! It's cheaper than buying fresh veggies and requires little prep. It usually contains carrots, peas, potatoes, celery or mushrooms – plus it's a great way to get your daily veggie intake. It's filling, easy to transport and store for ages!

You can also create your own delicious dishes with canned ingredients – stocks and broths are a great start. There's no limit – use cans of tomatoes, beans, corn and other vegetables to make something unique.

Remember expiration dates when stocking up – cans should last years if stored properly in cool spots. Don't forget the spices – they'll take any canned soup from normal to special!


Canned foods are an affordable and delicious way to be prepared in case of a disaster. The best type of canned food to keep on hand will depend on geography, digestion preferences, and other lifestyle factors. Generally, meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, soups & stews, pastas & grains are the most useful categories.

Canned foods can be consumed without refrigeration or cooking. This makes them ideal in times with no electricity or running water. It's important to store canned food properly since many items have expiry dates, reducing shelf life. Check for dents or rust spots that could indicate spoilage or contamination when choosing cans for storage.

The most important advice when preparing for a potential disaster: Be prepared! Having a variety of canned food types will enable you to stay fed even during the toughest of times. Farm fresh ingredients may not be available during an emergency, so having reliable canned storage options will help ensure you never go hungry!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the best canned food types to survive a disaster?

A1: The best canned food types to survive a disaster are canned meats, fruits, vegetables, soups, stews, and beans. Canned foods are a great way to have a reliable source of nutrition and energy when you need it most.

Q2: How long can these canned food types last?

A2: Canned food can last for several years when stored properly. By keeping them in a cool, dark place, you can ensure that your canned food will stay fresh and edible for a long time.

Q3: Are canned food types healthy?

A3: Yes, canned food types can be a healthy option. If you choose canned foods with no added salt, sugar, or other preservatives, they can provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, canned foods are often more affordable than fresh produce.

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