First, let us start out with defining nonperishable foods. According to Merriam-Webster, nonperishable means ‘not subject to rapid deterioration or decay.’ With regards to food, this means anything can be stored for long periods of time without going bad.

Nonperishable foods have long shelf lives and do not require any refrigeration. Nonperishable foods include canned goods, dry foods, dehydrated foods and other foods that do not require a fridge such as peanut butter and ketchup.

Nonperishable foods also get a widely bad reputation for containing boat loads of preservatives and containing no nutrients. This is not entirely true, and we are here to break down this misconception and bring logical and factual information to the dinner table.


Why Are Nonperishable Foods Important?

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Nonperishable foods are important for a number of reasons. They are the go-to in cases of emergency, natural disaster and donations. Nonperishable foods are ideal to have around the house in cases of emergencies.

Nonperishable foods can be found in almost every pantry in America. As far as their health values go, nonperishable foods can fall on the both ends of the healthy spectrum. Some nonperishable items are loaded with processed foods and additives that increase the shelf life.

Other nonperishable foods are on the healthier side, only using additives that are absolutely necessary to maintain the quality of the food. Nonperishable foods are considered shelf-stable and are made to withstand months of unrefrigerated storage without spoiling or decaying.

How to Tell if Nonperishables Are Healthy

Nonperishable Foods

There are many different ways to decide if the nonperishable food items you are considering buying are healthy. These indicators include checking ingredients, the maker of the food and the quality of the contents inside the food.

If you are like me, you are constantly scouring ingredient lists and finding the products that contain the least amount of REAL ingredients. I absolutely refuse to eat anything I cannot pronounce and try my hardest to ingest organic, non-GMO foods that will nourish my body.

Make sure to check the ingredient list of any nonperishable food before you buy it. Also check for things such a low sodium levels, because high amounts of sodium can lead to inflammation and other health factors.

Non perishables Among Each Food Group

boxed Nonperishable Foods

If you have to eat nonperishable foods, make sure to use the indicators above to choose the best of the bunch. Check the ingredients, check the source, and buy foods with as many real ingredients as possible.

The most common nonperishable foods are canned fruits and vegetables. According to Fruits and Veggies More Matters, canned fruits and vegetables are on par with their fresh or frozen counterparts.

Canned fruits and veggies are a wonderful way to save money at the grocery store as well as incorporate more fruits and veggies into you and your family’s diet. Canned foods can help make eating more healthy foods such as fruits and veggies more accessible to families.

Grains, oatmeal and nuts are amazing nonperishable foods to have in your diet. Foods such as whole grains, minerals, vitamins, fiber and protein can all be found in grains and oats. Whole-wheat pasta, barley, lentils, and quinoa are prime examples of healthy nonperishable foods.

Protein is an essential part of a human being’s diet. It provides the capacity to build muscle and produce effective energy. There are many nonperishable food items when it comes to protein. Canned tuna, salmon, sardines, chicken, and other canned proteins contain necessary vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy life.

Canned beans and legumes are also amazing healthy options when it comes to nonperishable foods. Dried and canned beans such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, are all loaded with minerals and protein needed to maintain health every day.

When it comes to nonperishable dairy items, the options are few and far between. The main dairy you are going to find that will be nonperishable is evaporated milk. This will provide the much-needed calcium and vitamin D needed for healthy bones.

Other healthy options of nonperishable foods include trail mixes, snack bars and granola bars that are packed with the necessary fiber, minerals and proteins needed in the standard human diet. Keeping a few of these nonperishables around the house is great when you are short on time or need a quick pick me up.

The Healthiest Nonperishables Available Today

variety of Nonperishable Foods

Whatever your reasoning behind buying and eating nonperishable foods might be, it is important to only buy those nonperishables with actual nutrients in them. As we talked about above, paying attention to what is really in your foods is so vital to making sure you are eating the best food for your body.

Nonperishables being unhealthy is a common misconception and to some extent, is true. However, there are many nonperishables out there that break the misconception and actually contain healthy and decent ingredients.

According to Better Food, the healthiest nonperishable foods include soups, oats, nut butters, pasta, canned veggies and fruits, canned proteins, dark chocolate, protein bars, sunflower seeds, honey, plain popcorn kernels, whole wheat pretzels, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, shelf stable milk, olive oil, quinoa, jams and jellies, and beef jerky.

All of these nonperishable food items have the potential to contain real, honest and nutritional ingredients that are safe for you and your family to eat. There are many benefits of enjoying nonperishable foods and most of the time, they center around time and convenience.

Nonperishable foods save prep and cooking time, provide quick and easy options in times of urgency and typically save a little bit of money in the food budget. There are so many healthy options these days and nonperishable foods are regaining their notoriety as they become healthier and more plentiful.

No longer is Campbell’s your only option. You can now go into the grocery store and find multiple options for organic and non-processed soups and canned goods. It is quite extraordinary the amount of healthy nonperishable food items available for purchase today.

The same goes in the case of nut butter. Other delicious nut butters such as almond butter and cashew butter now have matched peanut butter’s popularity. People are finding out that every nut has its own butter and that these butters can be dangerously delicious.

Nuts also have amazing nutritional properties and sometimes get forgotten about when it comes to nonperishable food items. Nuts like cashews, almonds, Brazil, and pistachios are incredible sources of protein, fiber and omega fatty acids.

Other Things to Note About Nonperishables

Nonperishable candy

Nonperishables are the go-to for single working moms who may not have time to cook everything from scratch, fresh and ready. They are an amazing way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet as well as perfect for those who need something quick and easy.

Nonperishables like soup are ideal for those who are sick, live alone or need a quick meal without compromising nutritional value. I know that personally, I have just been straight out of ideas for dinner and a can of soup was the godsend I needed. 

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In Case of Emergency

Foods that are not perishable are also ideal for making food donations. In times of natural disasters or emergency crisis’s, nonperishable foods seriously save people’s lives. When any organization or charity asks for food donations, nonperishables are the only things accepted because they do not require refrigeration and have long shelf lives.

Nonperishables are great for making donations to homeless shelters, emergency shelters and food banks. They are the go-to in times when the electricity might be cut or in the case of severe weather when the refrigerator might not be working.

It is always a good idea to keep nonperishable foods in your pantry to ensure that there will be good to eat in cases of emergency. That way, if disaster hits or you are without power for three days, you can feed yourself and your family without compromising health and nutrition.

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