February is National Canned Food Month, a month dedicated to the history, safety, and benefits of canned foods.
History of Canned Food
“Canning” began around 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars to help preserve large amounts of food for French soldiers. The food was originally placed in glass jars, however tin or wrought-iron canisters (shortened to ‘cans’) were later used.
During the mid-to-late 1800’s, canned food became increasingly popular. Inventions and improvements in food production allowed for decreased food costs, causing an increase in demand –especially in urban populations.
Updated manufacturing processes and technology have helped to ensure the safety, quality and nutritional value of canned foods, providing a variety of food options at affordable prices.
Benefits of Canned Food for Preschoolers
Canned food provides numerous health benefits to both children and adults.
- Safety: Bacteria and pesticide residues are destroyed by the heating, washing, and peeling during the canning process. Canning also prevents cross-contamination that can happen when transporting produce from the farm to the store.
- Locks in Nutrition: Canned fruit and vegetables retain their nutrients and are considered to be just as healthy as fresh produce. Some fruits, such as tomatoes, are considered to be healthier by can because they retain particular nutrients that protect against cancer and other diseases.
- Long Shelf Life: The canning process destroys bacteria and organisms that cause food spoilage, allowing canned food to remain safe for as long as the container is intact. While most canned goods have expiration dates, its best to rotate canned goods every year.
Our Canned Food Drive
To celebrate National Canned Food Month, we’ll be running a canned food drive at both of our preschool locations. Parents and students can bring in their canned vegetables, fruit, soup, etc. throughout the month to help fight hunger in the Raleigh-area.
We’ll be taking the donations to our local food bank on February 27th. For more information about the canned food drive, please contact your preschool center.