Preserving food canning be overwhelming for any new homesteader, but is essential for self-sufficiency. There are many ways of preserving food. Lots of people freeze their food, dehydrate their food and even can their food. We have other articles specifically geared toward freezing produce from the garden.
Today we are focusing on preserving food by canning!
Canning is old past time many of our grandparents performed. Often times people share with us their canning stories. We’ve learned most people watched their grandparents can, but did not have direct participation. These are the people who want to learn and often take our classes. And while you know your grandparents canned, it still feels overwhelming.
Let’s start with the basics, what is canning exactly?
Canning in it’s most simple form is a way of preserving food. Manufacturer’s use this method all of the time. While they use tin or aluminum (which is extremely unhealthy for us) they basically go through the canning process and seal food in cans, then ship them to the supermarket. When you do this in your home, it is not always less expensive, but you are eating food that is healthier.
Home canning your food into glass jars provides a healthier environment than tin or aluminum. Often times the aluminum manufacturer’s use seeps into our foods and our bodies don’t like aluminum.
Also, the contents remain fresh if you follow proper procedures when preserving food by canning.
There is no air in the jars and the hot water or pressure cooker kills any spores that can create bacteria growth. A properly canned jar can last up to a year on the shelf. Another great reason to can your own food is that you can control the amount of sugar and salt content in the jars. Sugar and salt are your two main preserving agents and manufacturer’s add a ton of it to get a longer shelf life. You can simply follow the ball canning safe recipes and cut down on your sugar and salt intake, simply by preserving food on your own!
Secondly, why do people can?
You’ll find there are a lot of reasons why people preserve their food by canning. In the old days farmer’s needed a way to preserve their harvest. There was no way they could eat everything they grew before it spoiled. Refrigerators and freezers were new and not every household had one. Canning saved a great many farmer’s from losing the fruits of their labor.
As I mentioned before, many people can for health reasons. Diabetes or high blood pressure has caused them to watch their sugar and salt intake. Others, want to know what is in their food and are making changes to get away from pesticides and manufactured food. And still some enjoy the art of canning. It is a hobby that feeds not only their soul, but their bellies! There’s something about opening your cabinet doors and seeing jars of food you’ve canned lining the shelves. All of these are great reasons for preserving food by canning, but there’s one more important thought about canning.
Why do YOU want to can?
You see, it doesn’t matter why everyone else does it. All that matters is why you want to preserve food by canning. Knowing this will motivate you to get your canning supplies, a great recipe book and take some awesome classes so you can in turn teach others. This is an art form we don’t want to lose through the generations and you can be a part of that!
~Until Next Time,
Question: Have you considered preserving your own food? What has held you back?