You may ask - why should I can? Today, more than ever, we are looking for ways to save money; eat better and healthier, and live greener more sustainable lives. Home canning offers benefits that are relevant to our lifestyles today. First a little history lesson. Prior to the 1800s, food preservation was done by drying fruits and the smoking of meats and fish. This worked well up until Napoleon Bonaparte decided to conquer all of Europe. He did not want his armies to be dependent for food while in enemy lands, instead he wanted them to carry their own food. One of his scientists, Nicolas Appert, discovered that by heating food for several hours in loosely corked bottles that were then sealed, that no germs could get to the food and so, it did not spoil. Soon afterward, in the early 1800s, Americans began to can food.
In regard’s to today’s challenge of saving money, the Burpee Seed Company writes that produce prices have doubled. They estimate that for every $50 that is spent on seed and fertilizer, the gardener can grow $1250 worth of produce. Team that with home canning, and you get the pleasure and the great taste of food from your garden all year long, as well as saving on your grocery bill. In addition, if the power goes out or some mechanical failure happens, none of what you have canned will go bad.
You can begin to save money by starting out small. Begin with your favorite fruit, the one that you and your family buy most often. Start by getting some canning jars either by buying new or at a yard sale or even free. Maybe a friend or family member has some they no longer need. You will need to buy lids new. Next you will need a hot water bath canner and finally, you will need your fruit. Recipes and instructions are readily available.
By preserving your own food, you will know every ingredient that is in the jar. According to a 2009 National Gardening Association research, people grow their own food because it tastes better, to save money, for higher quality food and they want to know that they food they are eating is safe. When you can at home, you are the one adding the ingredients in the "can" that your family will open and eat.
If, like me right now, you are unable to grow your own, there are farmer’s markets almost in every town, with more springing up all the time. So, whether you grow your own food or buy locally-grown produce, the carbon footprint that is created by the transporting of the fruits and vegetables that you eat during the off season is lowered. A 2008 study by Weber and Matthews found that the production and delivery of food accounts for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.
As shown, home canning, which started out as a way for soldiers to transport and store food safely, gives you and your family a way to save money; eat better and healthier and live more sustainable life styles.