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Canned fish in the glove box?
September 21, 2011 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Central Texas heat: Canned sardines -- okay in the glove box of my pickup or will they go south or explode or ???

I'm prone to slipping into junk food mode if I'm hungry and away from my place, it's so, so easy for me to buy some unhealthy junk food. It'd be about two hundred times better to have something better, healthier, available when I get stuck out, hungry, like a bat caught out in the sun.

My doctor(s) got on me in July about cholesterol moving in a direction I don't want cholesterol moving, want me to jack up the good-guy cholesterol, lower the bad-guy cholesterol, both waving their fingers about, big frowny faces etc, lectured me about life, omega3s, fish oil etc. (My next AskMe question is going to be about niacin.) I've read around some, found out that the omega3s in a can of wild-caught sardines is about what I'd get in most supplements, and I've found that I like them. (Wildly dependent upon what brand, for sure.)

I'm just wondering if it's okay to stuff a couple cans into my glove box, will they explode, will I die, etc and etc. (Alternately, what is another good, solid, filling healthy food that will hold in heat/cold, over time?)
posted by dancestoblue to Food & Drink (17 answers total)
 
I would guess they are going to be OK, but good lord think of the smell if they aren't.
posted by sanka at 5:58 PM on September 21, 2011


how about carrying a mini cooler in the car? You can put some ice packs in with it and if it still explodes then it's an easy clean up. Also having a cooler will allow you a lot more versatile options.
posted by any major dude at 6:05 PM on September 21, 2011


I once microwaved sardines. Oh goodness, the taste/texture changed so much! So hot/warm sardines might not be nice to eat anyway, even if they are ok.
posted by titanium_geek at 6:20 PM on September 21, 2011


Canned sardines keep for an entire year if they're kept at 65 degrees, so you're probably good keeping a can in there for a week or two in the Texas heat. But really, don't push it.

It seems impractical anyway. What are you gonna do with a can of sardines in your car, make sandwiches? It seems like you need a kitchen in the first place to turn canned fish into a meal. Can you just take a can or two and leave them somewhere out of the heat at work or school? If you want something healthy to keep and eat in the car, consider nuts.

titanium_geek: I am sure it was the microwave's fault. Warmed-up sardines are awesome. Fisherman's eggs are my favorite.
posted by evariste at 6:25 PM on September 21, 2011


It's not as if you need to keep canned sardines in the refrigerator. The fish is cooked already, so it will likely just be really warm when you eat it (which you may not like). I wouldn't leave any opened fish in your car, though. Because... yuck.

Another food that contains a significant level of Omega3s are walnuts, which are a bit more portable.
posted by blurker at 6:27 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a can of soda explode in my hot car once. Carbonation probably played a part, but do you really want to take a chance on sardines? What about vacuum packed tuna or chicken instead?
posted by tamitang at 6:47 PM on September 21, 2011


I keep tuna packed in oil in the winter kit in my car (packed in oil = won't freeze solid). A car not exactly being an ideal storage environment I rotate the cans twice a year and the six months including the summer never seems to affect the texture or taste much though we only get into the high 30s around here.

Unless the temperature of your glove compartment reaches the boiling point of the oil/water the fish is packed in the cans will be OK to eat. Most fish is pressure canned at fairly high temperatures.
posted by Mitheral at 6:54 PM on September 21, 2011


Canned sardines are kind of hard to eat casually--they are messy (packed in liquid). You could make a sandwich out of them for lunch, though, if you can keep your lunch in a cooler. Otherwise, nuts are good.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:29 PM on September 21, 2011


any major dude: "how about carrying a mini cooler in the car? You can put some ice packs in with it and if it still explodes then it's an easy clean up."
1) I'd just want to chunk the cans in the glove box 'just in case' don't want a cooler
2) Ice packs aren't going to work for 'just in case food'
3) I'm asking here if it will explode and won't do it if they will

evariste: " What are you gonna do with a can of sardines in your car, make sandwiches? If you want something healthy to keep and eat in the car, consider nuts."
1) Eat them with a plastic fork
2) I love nuts and that's a good idea but nuts, while they do have the omega3 acids in them, have ALA fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), they don't have the good-guy omega3 oils that fatty fish have EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The ALA stuff is good, and some of it can be converted in our body, but it's best (from what I've read -- I'm no nutritionist) (I read it online -- it must be true!) to get the EPA and DHA.

tamitang: "What about vacuum packed tuna or chicken instead?"
Vacuum packed salmon (salmon -- wild caught -- has LOTS more of the fatty acids than tuna) is a great idea -- I'm over here like "Doh!" Thanx!


Mitheral: "(packed in oil = won't freeze solid).
... I rotate the cans twice a year
... Unless the temperature of your glove compartment reaches the boiling point of the oil/water the fish is packed in the cans will be OK to eat.
"
1) So far, my favorite sardines are packed in olive oil
2) I'd rotate the stock out a lot, by eating it would be my guess
3) It does get way hot here, hard to believe until you've been here a summer

So I'm thinking salmon in vacuum packages is going to be the way I'm going to go in summer months, if I can get it wild caught in vacuum packaging, winter months either way.

Thanx gang!
posted by dancestoblue at 8:55 PM on September 21, 2011


We carried and ate canned sardines on a summer trip through the Sahara, traveling in an ancient Landrover with no cooling. They didn't explode and were very tasty (unlike some wild, delicious-looking melons we found, which were totally disgusting.)
posted by anadem at 9:05 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna go with definitely don't leave them in there for very long this summer (80+ days of 100+degree heat? It gets hotter in your glove box). Might not be a bad idea for winter though.
posted by MuChao at 9:10 PM on September 21, 2011


MuChao: "80+ days of 100+degree heat?"
I'm so, so glad that that summer is finally behind us -- it only hit 97F today! Welcome Autumn!

Gawd. It just seems like it's never, ever going to let up on us.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:34 PM on September 21, 2011


Canned sardines are kind of hard to eat casually

This is patently untrue. You also pack a thing of saltines (soup crackers) with you, eat them with your hands, lick your fingers. Done.

They will be fine, even excellent, please do not worry.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:16 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dad is quite the outdoorsman, and was even more so when I was growing up. He had a 1968 Ford pickup with an enormous camper shell on the back that came to be known as "The Duck Truck" because he so often used it when going duck hunting. He also spent a lot of time fishing and just generally ratting around in the woods whenever he could- always taking the Duck Truck.

There was a small cabinet in the camper shell that he kept loaded with various canned foods for use when nothing else was available. I'm not sure how often the stuff rotated out, but sardines were always there, along with Vienna sausages, canned smoked oysters, and often kippered herring. This was in Oklahoma, which is not quite as hot for quite as long as Texas, as a general rule, but still pretty warm in the Summer months. I don't recall him ever suffering from an exploded can of sardines. I spent a lot of time riding in the camper, and I never noticed a fishy smell that couldn't be explained by that day's catch, anyway.
posted by Shohn at 5:24 AM on September 22, 2011


The glove box is one of the worst places to store things in the heat. It tends to act as a sort-of passive oven. I inadvertently cooked an iPod in my glovebox once. Killed it dead.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:24 AM on September 22, 2011


Thorzdad: "The glove box is one of the worst places to store things in the heat. It tends to act as a sort-of passive oven."
Under the seat it is then, or behind it.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:09 AM on September 22, 2011


You can store things in a small cooler behind the seat, they won't get as warm that way. I know you said you didn't want a cooler, but you were probably thinking about having to add ice to it. Just use it as a storage box that happens to not heat up as fast.

I recommend one with a lid you can flip over and use as a tray under the opened can.
posted by yohko at 11:07 AM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


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