Monday, October 8, 2012

Canning Theory & Practice

In my last post, I wrote about my canning history.  I didn't grow up preserving food, but rather have learned through trial and error with Sarah over the past 5 years.  Like so many of us who were not taught these skills by our families, we've had to learn from scratch what once was common knowledge.

In general, I think most of us feel unqualified to produce our our food.  This feeling is fostered and reinforced by our food infrastructure, engineered to teach us that if it's not factory-produced, it's not safe.  If they can convince us we can't feed ourselves, that's money in the bank for them.  Year after year.  Forever.  Considering that what comes from our food infrastructure is often anything but safe, that is a dangerous set-up.

When we learn to produce food for ourselves, we take back that power we've lost in the past few generations.  Using food preservation methods such as canning, freezing, and fermenting, we can increase the volume of food we produce.  We don't have to worry about the preservatives and pesticides in our food.  We don't have to worry about the carbon footprint of our food.  We can spend less money for higher quality food.

And we can pass this knowledge on.  When Sarah and I first began this journey, we knew about two people who canned.  I was inspired by the local food movement and the internet to try my hand at it.  It took us 5 years to get here.

Each year, more of my friends have joined the food preservation revolution.  And the newbies are learning faster each year with the rest of us guiding them.  In fact, my friends Kim and Kathleen have gotten as far in one season as Sarah and I got in 4 years.  It's awesome.

Canning.  Pass it on.

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