44% Of People Said This Canned Vegetable Is Actually Really Good

Canned vegetables aren't generally considered a sexy food, but back in the early 19th century, canned vegetables were an exciting innovation that came to the U.S. as an import from France (per Britannica). There are quite a few canned food myths you probably fell for, but canned vegetables offer quite a few benefits over fresh, including that the vegetables inside the cans are usually picked and preserved within hours of being harvested as opposed to being trucked across the country before being dumped into a bin to await picking over by who-knows-how-many-people before you finally haul it home from your go-to vegetable purveyor (via Eat Right). This ensures the optimal flavor and nutritional content. Indeed, the canning process increases the level of nutrients in some cases, such as with lycopene in tomatoes More importantly canned foods are considered essential in the fight against food insecurity, according to the food and nutrition blog Northern Illinois Food Bank. 

Nevertheless, canned foods don't have to be strictly utilitarian. Sometimes the canned versions may be preferable to fresh versions. For example, using canned or frozen artichoke hearts eliminates a lot of messy, time-consuming prep work (per Cook's Illustrated). But as it turns out, artichoke hearts aren't even our readers' top pick for best canned vegetables. That honor goes to the one and only vegetable that garnered 44% of the votes in our survey regarding canned vegetables that are actually really good.

Canned corn took top honors in our survey

Knowing that canned vegetables don't always get the love they truly deserve, we thought it would be interesting to survey U.S. readers on which canned vegetables are actually really good and not just an acceptable stand-by for when you're too busy to get to the grocery store for fresh veggies. The choices offered by our survey were artichoke hearts, asparagus spears, green beans, lima beans, spinach, and sweet corn. As it turned out, of 594 respondents, almost half (44.28%) voted for sweet corn.

But of course, or as the French inventors of canning might say, "N'est-ce pas!" Because once you get past the novelty of corn on the cob, canned corn is clearly superior. The kernels are uniformly sweet and moist, and there's no messy slicing to do. If the results are any indication, whether you're making creamed corn or corn pudding you should start eating more canned corn.

Green beans came in second place in our survey, with 22.56% of the votes, followed at a considerable distance by artichoke hearts, with 11.45%. Fleshing out the bottom half of this canned veggie popularity contest were lima beans with 8.25% of the vote, asparagus spears with 7.58%, and spinach with 5.89%. Spinach's unimpressive showing was a bit surprising, but perhaps that's just because Popeye the Sailor Man is so effective as a spokesperson for this nutrient-packed green.