10 Compelling Reasons to Preserve Food
Canning & preserving has been a valuable part of our country’s history and likewise, has a tremendous role in our future. Why? Read on:
A Canners Manifesto: 10 Compelling Reasons To Preserve Food
1) Capitalize on Seasonal Flavor. When food is enjoyed within its natural season, it will have the most complex of flavors and the best nutrition. Canning is the ultimate expression of seasonal eating because the whole point is to use fresh ingredients at their peak.
2) Capture That Flavor as a Time Capsule on my Pantry Shelf. The beauty of canning is that later, when the season is long gone I can still enjoy that jar of vine-ripened flavor (even in the middle of winter).
3) Know What is in My Food. I can avoid GMOs and pesticides by choosing only organic, sustainable produce. If I want to put sugar in my jam, then I decide how much and what kind of sugar to use. All the choices of how and what I eat are my own.
4) Support Local because local means fresh and because it helps my local, organic farmers who are doing it right. By eating local, I am voting with my dollar to support farming practices I endorse rather than industrialized farming and cross-country shipping of produce.
5) Save Excess Produce that I grow in my garden or get from a friend so that food is not wasted. Every food gardener gets a bumper crop of zucchini or a tree loaded with excess fruit. Canning gives us a way to save that produce and eliminates waste.
6) Supplement My Menu – especially if times get tough. Growing my own food and preserving it makes me a little bit more self-reliant. The fact that this extra food is also exceptionally delicious is a bonus.
7) Enjoy Flavors Not Found in the Grocery Store. Standard grocery stores only carry foods that can travel long distances and can sit for long periods of time. Canning allows me to seek out lesser-known varieties not found in the stores. Their shorter shelf life makes them perfect candidates for putting up and I can then enjoy the complex colors and flavors of Arkansas black apples, purple asparagus or watermelon radishes, and more. Canning also allows me to experiment with unique herb/spice combinations and create condiments or sauces that make any cook drool.
8) Share Tradition With The Next Generation. By teaching my kids and other children some of these lost arts, I help connect them with traditions from our past while passing on skills that will last beyond my lifetime.
9) Prove That Real Flavor Is On The Inside and that produce does not have to look perfect to be delicious. Bruised and damaged fruit still makes perfect jam and jellies and irregularly shaped cucumbers are always delicious as pickles.
10) Share My Bounty With Others. A jar of “put-up” produce is very easy to share and always appreciated, especially if you include a recipe or list of ideas on how to use it.
This article from Theresa on http://livinghomegrown.com received so much attention when we retweeted on @talkpoppy that it deserves keeping on hand. Honestly, I think she must of read my mind. If you haven’t done preserving before or would like to try something new, we’ve partnered with Alberta Health Services to offer a selection of preserving classes June to September 2014. Check out our schedule.