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KatawaGrey's avatar

What are the pros and cons of eating canned vegetables as opposed to fresh or frozen?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21456points) October 21st, 2008

I understand that, often, people prefer fresh vegetables over frozen and frozen over canned, but I have found, as of late, that I much prefer canned veggies. They are cheap, last a really long time, and the packaging is recyclable. Is there something I should know about canned veggies? Are they worse, nutrient-wise, or are they just not as tasty as fresh veggies?

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12 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

To clarify….any veggies are better than no veggies.

Beyond that, veggies in a can will frequently have some kind of additive to preserve or stabilize it for the longevity that you mention. Salt is also frequently added.
Veggies might be picked before their prime to allow for ripening enroute to the canning process.

Garden veggies tend to be more flavorful….and if you got them from my garden, for example, you can rest assured that there are no chemicals or wayward fecal bacteria contamination (from fertilization process).

All-in-all there really isn’t a problem w/ canned veggies, however….

La_chica_gomela's avatar


It’s a fact that they don’t even approach the vitamin content of fresh or frozen (these two have roughly the same).

OK, snoopy’s answer just popped up and she (? i think) beat me to my other topics: salt and preservatives. (ick).

As far as taste, I personally consider them a huge downgrade from fresh/frozen, but to each his own.

PupnTaco's avatar

Check the sodium in canned veggies.

gailcalled's avatar

Also check the Bisphenol A which lines all cans now. That leaches into canned goods.

Oh Canada just banned all BPA from baby bottles – too little, too late but better than the FDA here.

jvgr's avatar

Water soluble vitamins, especially vitamin C, tend to degrade fairly rapidly when in the presence of a lot of water, so canned vegetables would have less vitamin potency.

laureth's avatar

Canned veggies have been cooked a long time in the canning process, so any nutrition that naturally occurred there is pretty much flushed away. And since cooked veggies in a can are often tasteless, they add salt (sodium) and sugar to give it some kind of flavor, as if they’re desperately doing flavor CPR on a dead veggie. (If you don’t believe this, buy a can of “sodium free” veggies or tomato juice and try it. You’ll see.)

Frozen ones keep a long time, too, and are often better (fresher) than the “fresh” ones in the produce section. They’re often frozen shortly after being harvested and shipped in that state, where as a “fresh” veggie may have travelled for days on a hot truck and sat for a couple weeks in the grocery store before you buy it.

deaddolly's avatar

Sodium is the worst thing about canned veggies. A good mix of both is the best way to go.

DandyDear711's avatar

You gotta worry about the chemicals in the cans – just as GailCalled said! I have been feeding no salt canned veggies to my dog. I decided to taste a green bean. The no salt green beans taste a lot better than the salted ones, I think.

With all that said, canned veggies may be all that we can afford if the economy gets a lot worse.

Snoopy's avatar

@dandydear canned veggies? for a dog??

DandyDear711's avatar

@Snoopy – Don’t you ever want more to eat but your are watching your waste line? My dog likes to watch his but he still begs constantly. I try to satisfy him by giving him veggies like green beans, carrots, pumpkin, and beets. BTW – he does not like canned spinach – he isn’t as stupid as he looks!

Snoopy's avatar

@DD Your dog should come hang out at my house. My toddlers are forever supplying our flooring w/ their food (although it is getting better). My dog holds out for wayward meat products :) and would eschew any veggie.

deaddolly's avatar

one of my dogs loves all veggies. it’s the only thing the other dogs don’t try to steal away from eachother. I’d swear she’d eat a salad if I let her. She likes fruit too.

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