Packin The Pantry (for the Apocalypse)

Many of us are keeping the pantry better packed these days, due to the situations brought upon us in 2020.  I have been doing the same, but I have taken a little more scientific approach to the job this time – rather than what I may have done in the past.

The easiest thing to buy and store away is a can of food.  But, how efficient is a can of food in the pantry?  A little experiment will tell you the answer is “it all depends”.  For a long time I’ve been aware of the difference in what’s in one can of food versus what’s in another can of supposedly the same food.

Take beans, for example.  I’ve noticed for a long while that one can isn’t nearly what another might be, in terms of being full to the top with (actual beans).  So, I started looking at what’s in each can.  I don’t have a small scale, but I can eyeball stuff pretty well.  So, I started dumping cans of food into a strainer, and eyeballed the result each time.  Wow! What a difference.  It’s worse than I thought.

Some cans of beans had barely over half of what other cans of beans had.  Now, don’t take me wrong.  I like the sauce and the juice (and even a little water) with my beans.  But not when it’s almost half the can!

The moral seems to be to know which brands have the beans, so to speak.  Not unexpectedly, the cheap brands often have less solid food (but not always).  So, buying the cheap brand for 25% discount isn’t a good deal if it has only half the beans in it.  I’ve been packin-the-pantry accordingly, buying more bang-for-my-buck even though it’s not always the cheapest brand.

It’s not only canned goods.  Jars have the same problem.  Take applesauce as an example.  Some like it soupy, some like it thick and chunky.  I always buy the thick and chunky, cause I’m getting more actual apple.  And, you know, when that so-called apocalypse comes to town, we want to have more apple.  Just an opinion …

Note that the graphics are not intended to represent any particular brand, and my approach using the eyeball-the-seive measurement system may not be on-the-spot accurate.