Prepper, Survivalist, or Just Plain Smart?
But, if someone looked at my jars-upon-jars of beautiful tomatoes and peaches, one may think I am a prepper – one who stockpiles food and supplies for an emergency. And in some sense, that is true. I am not planning on a worldwide disaster or even a natural disaster – but it is good to have things ready and handy, just in case. The people living through tornadoes, snowstorms, or even the loss of a job may have wished they were a little more prepared.
All those jars of spaghetti sauce, fruits, veggies, homemade soups, and freezer jam really came in handy – from Missouri ice storms when we were out of electricity for two weeks to being snowbound in Wisconsin for a few days.
You Know What’s In It
In my house, we can vegetables and fruits for quite a few reasons. A huge reason is to have fresh-tasting foods and jams all winter long. How refreshing it is to pull out a jar of juicy peaches that taste fresh from the tree and know where it came from and how much sugar has been added.
I once opened a can of store-bought beans to find part of a grasshopper in it. Do you know the FDA actually allows a certain percentage of “unavoidable defects,” as they call it, in processed foods? One woman was shocked to find she was chewing on more than granola! “Natural contaminants are non-hazardous to health,” says the booklet published by the FDA. Another huge reason for preserving my own foods. No insects, larvae, rat hairs, or feces in my home-canned foods!
How Do You Use All the Tomatoes?
I have known some to can up to fifty jars of tomatoes in one season. I may not be that ambitious, but my cupboards are full. And, if I don’t use them all up one year, they will keep as long as I use fresh seals, jars and lids without defects, and process them according to the book.
My canned tomatoes become spaghetti sauce, chili, soup base, filling for lasagna and even catsup. When you preserve it yourself, the nutrients are left in, not processed out. It is so much better for you, and tastes better too.
Is it Safe?
Home-canned foods are healthy, safe, and delicious. Because you are the one preparing the food, you know exactly how much sodium (salt) is added, spices, and sugars. No preservatives, additives, or chemicals are added to it. How long does it keep? If the seal is good, it can keep for years.
More and more are learning the fine art of canning and preserving their own food, and not just for survivalist reasons. The sheer joy of accomplishment alone, then seeing the literal fruits of your labor adorning your cupboard. Now that… is satisfaction!