Canning is certainly something that takes a lot of commitment, of time and money; and it may (or may not be) a good economical investment, depending on what stellar deals you can get on: jars, materials, and food. Outside of monetary gain though, canning has many other benefits.
1.HEALTH–Canning allows the consumer to have control of what goes into their food. Many store-bought canned food items have added unknown ingredients and LOTS of sodium. To demonstrate this with a simple example, lets use tomatoes.
I have a store bought can of whole peeled tomatoes in front of me as well as a recipe for home-canned tomatoes. This is a comparison of the ingredient list word for word:
Store bought: Tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, calcium chloride, and citric acid. (huh…???)
Home-canned: Tomatoes, lemon juice, salt. (Ah. Much better.)
This is a very mild example… the lists are not terribly different, but the sodium content is. The store-bought contains 110 mg of sodium per ¼ cup serving, and the home-canned only contains 4 mg per ¼ cup serving. Big difference? (head nodding…uh huh.)
2. HOME-MADE GIFTS: Who doesn’t love home-made gifts? Something made by hand from ground to jar is a perfect gift for love ones. For birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or just a feel good “here, I made something for you” gift.
3. USEFUL SKILLS: I don’t know about everyone else, but if there is an opportunity to add or brush up on my useful skill toolbox, I’m there. It doesn’t hurt to know how to take food (you know the fuel that keeps us alive) and give it a shelf life.
4.EMOTIONAL SATISFACTION: this point especially applies to gardeners. After months of working out in the sun, dirt and raising a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it feels good to can them. If you’ve never experienced this, I’ll paint a picture for you (with words!)
Just imagine yourself in the kitchen with your apron on. The sun is at dusk. You’ve been busy washing, sterilizing, packing, salting, etc. for the last four hours. Finally, when you pull your last jar out of the boiling water you open the cupboard, step back and look at the rest of your jewels in the cupboard: jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, salsas, etc. all sitting perfectly waiting. Waiting for a day in the middle of winter when you need a quick something delicious from your summer garden. When you look out the window at your once thriving garden of tomatoes and zucchini, plucked to destruction, there is a peace..it just moved inside.
(Okay that was a little dramatic but) you get the point? It feels good to “put up” food.
Why do you can?
Hope your day is filled with wonder.