The Return to Canning – Why Canning is Making a Comeback

Home canning never died, so the return to it is something of a misnomer. The attempt to preserve home grown food has always been popular with the Amish, Mennonites and their English Pennsylvania Dutch neighbors. The supplies did become harder to find for a time, but the renewed interest in home canning outside of Pennsylvania has made the glass jars, supplies, and wax much easier to find. It survived in Pennsylvania, but that does not explain why it is making a comeback elsewhere.

The initial reason that home canning suffered a decline has to do with the ready availability of canned goods and other foods. Why should a person can her own green beans and make her own pickles if she can go out to the super market and buy them? Buying canned vegetables was easier. It also lessened the likelihood of suffering from food poisoning to improperly canned foods.

While the canned goods are still available, there are times when a person wants to rely more on their own efforts. Gardening has become more popular and a person who grows his or her own vegetables can reduce her family’s food bills between $20 to $40 each month.

Canning also made a comeback because it is a good way to make sure a person has emergency supplies in the case of the disaster. While the canned goods do not last indefinitely on the shelves, they can last for several years and can be rotated out with fresher stock. Tin cans can also serve this purpose, but a person who saves their seeds may be able to have a source of food in long-term situations. Fortunately, such long-term situations are not likely.

All of the items listed above are valid reasons for a man or a woman to take up canning. The most important one is not practical. Canning, like any other hobby, is fun. The goods to use it, with the exception of the wax are also reusable. All a person needs to begin canning are a few mason jars, some lids, some canning wax and a pressure cooker. A few recipes does not hurt either. A home canner who has the recipe for homemade pickles can add something tasty to his backyard barbecued burgers.

Before beginning read the proper cooking procedures. A person who eats the finished product can get botulism just as easily from home canning recipes as he can from commercial ones. Following the procedures properly eliminates this risk.

The initial equipment for home canning should not run a person more than $75, but the long-term savings will make up for the investment. The largest portion of this money is taken up by buying a decent pressure cooker.