The New Pantry: How Modern Technology has Reinvented Shelf-Stable Foods

July 06, 2016

The New Pantry: How Modern Technology has Reinvented Shelf-Stable Foods

Summary:With today's canning technology, fresh vegetables are only marginally more nutritious than canned and frozen/freeze-dried vegetables. So choose more convenient shelf-stable foods and use that extra time + money to exercise and enjoy more of life! #LifeHack

  • Aren’t Fresh Vegetables Better than Canned or Frozen?

Canning technology has made huge improvements over the last 10 years. Packaged vegetables now give fresh food a run for its money, especially when it comes to price, prep time, and food waste. Canned and frozen vegetables are usually harvested at peak flavor and nutrition, whereas fresh produce is typically picked pre-maturely and travels 5-10 days before we consume it.  

Some vegetables are actually better canned than frozen or fresh. Canned tomatoes, for example, are preserved using heat which releases lycopene—a carotenoid that has been linked to prostate and breast cancer prevention (Eating Well).

  • Why Does Takeout Kit Use Freeze-Dried Vegetables?

Freeze-dried vegetables are simply frozen vegetables with water extracted during the freeze drying process. This prevents food from spoiling, while still maintaining most of its flavor, color, texture, and nutritional value. When you cook your Takeout Kit, you will rehydrate the vegetables to make them whole again. This results in vegetables that are more convenient for cooking without sacrificing valuable nutrition.  Most researchers agree that the amount of nutrients lost from freeze-drying is miniscule (Columbia University).

  • How Does Takeout Kit Choose Between Canned or Freeze Dried Vegetables?

We are extremely picky about our ingredients and prefer organic products whenever possible.

Taste and consistency are large factors. For example, in our Thai Crab Curry kit we tested 5 brands of organic canned green beans and were dissatisfied with the canned taste. When we swapped in freeze dried green beans it was obvious that green beans taste better outside of a can.

Mushrooms are the complete opposite. Our canned Native Forest organic portobello mushrooms are tastier than most fresh portobellos I’ve eaten. Plus, they are pre-sliced and ready to cook with which saves our home chefs valuable time.

Our Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes are also super high quality and ridiculously convenient. They’re already peeled, roasted over an open fire, chopped, and ready to cook!

  • Doesn’t Canned Food Have Preservatives?

Yes, some do. But with modern technology they don’t have to!

New developments with aseptic cartons help preserve food without added preservatives. Tetra Pak is said to have pioneered this relatively new aseptic cartons technology (Whatech).

We pay very close attention to the non-natural ingredients in our kits and eliminate brands that use preservatives whenever possible. Our amazing shelf-stable Mori-Nu tofu uses Tetra Pak aseptic technology and some customers say it’s the best tofu they’ve ever eaten.

  •  Is Citric Acid Bad for You?

Citric acid is a preservative. However, it is an acid produced naturally in most citrus fruits. Our bodies also naturally produce citric acid. Acids in food help prevent the bacterial colonization of foods and are neither good nor bad for you (Livestrong).


As an avid runner and college athlete, I take health very seriously and I would never put an ingredient in Takeout Kit that I wouldn't eat without reservation. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions about ingredients. Happy cooking!

Shop shelf-stable Takeout Kits here.

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