Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Food Preservation - 2nd in a Series
Topic II - Food Canning Preferences
With novice and experienced canners alike, the most popular food products canned in the home are jams and jellies! Vegetables, pickles, fruits and tomato sauces, round out the top five most favored home canned products. More beginning canners are likely to can salsas and the least likely products to be canned are relishes and meats.
Fifty-eight percent of home canners are canning products raised in their own garden. 13 percent are canning from the bounty of someone else's garden, such as a neighbor, friend or family member. And remarkably, 10 percent of home canners are canning produce purchased from a farmer's market or roadside stand.
Preserving produce from one's own garden ranks as the highest reason for canning, based on the gardener's aversion to waste. If they have grown it, and can't use it immediately or give it away, then canning is the best option. The second reason for perserving fresh products is because of a preference for the taste of home-produced food. Preserving one's own food allows control over the preservatives used, pesticides applied or the elimination of known allergens. Personal satisfaction and economic considerations also rank highly as motivation for home canning.
Canners like to share the fruits of their labor, with 20 percent of all jars canned given away as gifts. Additionally, canning is popular because of a shortage of freezer space and because it is a family tradition. Historically, home canners learned the "tricks of the trade" from mothers or grandmothers. Today, with fewer people canning, novice canners are learning from a variety of sources, such as books or the internet, televsion and, of course, the County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sceinces!
So, if you want to extend the bounty from your harvest, explore the benefits of home preservation!
Source: Home Canning Cost/Benefits Analysis by Sandra Bastin, Ph.D., R.D. Extension Food & Nutrition Specialist