Best Canned Food for Survival

Canned food is a crucial for any survival kit

Canned food is a crucial for any survival kit

The goal of this article is to help you find the best canned food to help you in a survival situation. When it comes to commercial canned food some people may question the health benefits, but in regards to survival prepping on a budget cans are the best option. Canned food should be in all of our cabinets because, contrary to prepper myth, these bad boys can last long after you’re dead.

With all the changes happening in our world today, you never know what will happen. Canned meat, beans, fruits, and vegetables are providers of crucial proteins and vitamins making them the perfect reliable, ready to eat, vitamin packed food source for when SHTF.

Canned food

People like to stick their noses up at the amount of sodium and other preservatives in canned items. Let’s be real, canned food has its pros and cons, just like everything else in the world. If things were to change and everyone had to switch to survival mode, sodium intake would be the least of your worries. Besides, there are plenty of low sodium, and no added salt options out there to choose from.

There are a lot of SHTF preppers saying that you shouldn’t buy a lot of canned food items because they aren’t safe and need to be consumed before expiration date. Some even keep a hand written record of what items they have, and their expiration dates so that they can maintain a proper rotation. The truth is though, canned foods are no different than buying frozen produce. The items get picked, cut and processed the same day which locks in all the proteins and nutrients. The length of time needed for processing varies depending on the product but as long as cans are correctly stored, they will remain edible. The flavor of the product might diminish but the nutrition remains.  If fresh food isn’t available, canned is your next best choice.

The best canned products

Canned meat is the place to start with your canned good purchasing. Next it’s canned beans and veggies followed by fruits. Fruits are delicious but when thinking about survival, you are going to want to have choices with the most nutritional value. Here are the top 10 canned good items you need to have in your pantry.


SPAM - full of protein

SPAM – full of protein

This baby is packed with protein, feeding up to 6 people with 7g of protein per serving. You need this item in your survival kit. It is a little bit more expensive per can but it is worth it. Just like most canned goods you can eat Spam right out of the can but it tastes so much better when cooked. Imagine eating cold chicken. That is what uncooked spam tastes like. Cook it up in a pan, make a sandwich or add it to some white rice and you have a filling and delicious meal.


A crowd favorite and protein powerhouse. A 5 oz can feeds two people and has a 10g serving of protein per serving. Everyone loves a tuna sandwich and unlike spam, tastes excellent whether cooked or not.


If you like sardines, you’re going to want to stock up on these as well. A small can only gives you about 3g of protein but is a great source for vitamin B12 and some calcium.

Garbanzo Beans

Also known as chickpeas. They can be eaten hot or cold, can be the main course or a side dish. The options are endless with chickpeas. Carrying about 14g of protein per can these will be great to share with the family. You can even make a chickpea mash sandwich to make it stretch and fill everyone’s bellies.


Canned lentils are also full of protein. Lentils are great to add to any soups to thicken up the texture as well. Each can has about 12g of protein and is packed with iron. Lentils are a must have in your survival cupboard.

Pink Salmon

Just like tuna, this item is delicious as it is or cooked up with some creativity. Add some tomato, a little pepper and salt and you’ve got you a nice meal. Add it to some pasta or rice and you have a nice family dinner. Pink Salmon provides protein, vitamin D and vitamin B12.


These are a must have because they are so versatile. Make a sauce, a soup or add it to a sandwich. The tomatoes will add extra flavor to any food.

Soup and Chili

These easy and quick meals are great for people with families. They have meat, vegetables, grain and feed about 3-4 people per can.


Whether you grab some creamed corn or the whole kernel sweet corn, you won’t regret it because they are delicious. Not to mention a decent calcium serving.


Not the sugar pumped pie filling, but organic pumpkin is packed with vitamin A and other essential nutrients.


The next time you head to your grocery store, bring some extra money with you and grab a couple of can items from the list above. Little by little your pantry will turn into a solid survival cupboard.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Milk and Grumbler

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