In an age when convenience food rules our diet, we tend to forget the oldest convenience food available on our shelves, and that is canned food. I have been helping Canned Food UK to tell consumers about the relevance of these foods to today's lifestyle and remove any barriers that exist in the consumers' minds. I have been asked, "What's a named chef doing promoting such a downmarket product?" Well, I wouldn't help to promote a product that I didn't believe in and canned foods have so many advantages: - Mostly they haven't been contaminated by chemicals and preservatives. The very act of canning is the preservative - Canned food has a long shelf life - Cans are environmentally friendly and may be recycled time after time - Fruit and vegetables are often grown near the canning factories and can be packaged within hours of harvest - There are many canned products that are more flavourful than their fresh counterparts, for instance sweetcorn and tomatoes - Canned fruits and vegetables are preservative free and, despite popular opinion, have plenty of vitamins, often more than fresh fruit and veg which because of retail demands are grown and harvested to have a long shelf life. - They are the ultimate convenience emergency food for the store cupboard. - Canned fish are an excellent source of minerals, omega 3 essential oils and, because often the bone is left in and pressure-cooked, it becomes an edible part of the fish, unlike its fresh counterpart, and so has excellent calcium value. It took me a walk around my local supermarket to jog my memory of the amazing choice available in cans. It's a pity more companies don't advertise these benefits on television to make the public aware of just how good many canned products are. {{NEWS }}