Monday, August 10, 2020

101 Reasons We Can or Preserve Food

“Why do you preserve food, albeit can, dehydrate, ferment or freeze?”

This is the question I posed to several of my social media groups. I was blessed with a massive response.  The list below comes from the passionate comments of 100’s of folks that are part of Rebel Canners, Fermenters Kitchen, the Mother Earth News Gardening Group and are fans of the Ivan Tomato Rescue Projects Facebook page.

I preserve food because I love it, the food is better and because I run a seed company, Victory Gardeners.  When I work to save a rare cultivar and collect it’s seeds, I end up with lots of fruit.  I started canning to do something with all the extra tomato meat that was left over from de-seeding.  Now I have expanded my processes to include dehydrating and fermenting.

Everyone had their own reason they preserved food.  I am sure you will identify with many in the lists below. I divided them into sections to categorize the responses and help keep it all organized. Many may seem a like, but I wanted to honor the differences in the answers that people gave.  Enjoy!

Control of Product and Process
No added Ingredients
Full control over ingredients
Know where food comes from
Know how food is preserved
With kids with multiple allergies on top of celiac, we love being able to grab a jar from the shelf and know we don’t have to worry.
Food with preservatives makes me sick. My can goods do not.
My tools and machines are cleaned after every use, unlike mass production
My husband is on dialysis and he can’t eat many foods. I know he can handle the foods I have prepared and canned for our use.
No GMO’s, pesticides or artificial preservatives
Food Sovereignty
Learning to master a process
Know it is organic
Skill Building
I can open a jar on a long snowy night with 10 feet of snow and my tomatoes will smell like fresh picked
The quality is the best, I can get or grow the best ingredients, make something delicious with no additives and with minimal packaging
Because I have 18 food allergies and I can buy very little that's safe for me at the grocery store, so I've learned to ferment, dehydrate, can, and cure my own meat so I can still eat things I like.
I love playing with my food like a mad scientist.
It is satisfying to see all those canned fruits and vegetables on the shelves knowing that from start to finish I had knowledge and input into the whole process.
Try to feed my family minimal preservatives and additives
Self Sufficiency
Prepared for sickness or weather problems
Saves money over the long term
Prepped for emergencies
Knowledge that when I don’t have time to cook, I have home cooked meals ready to go
With my canned goods I can come home from work and I can have soup, potatoes, corn and cornbread ready to eat in 20 minutes.
Recycling and using no plastic
Vine ripened tomatoes in January
I eat seasonably and don’t buy from a grocery store, so if I don’t can, dehydrate or freeze it we don’t eat it
No miles from my garden to my jars to my table, it’s the ultimate in eating local.
It feels right to align with the seasons and rhythms of the Earth to preserve what is bountiful and eat it until the next season. It's also much cheaper and friendly to the environment than eating produce trucked in out of season from long distances away.
Help family income
Growing from seed to plant to harvest to jar. Full Lifecycle.
Survival Instinct.
Canning and preserving whatever bounty the Lord sent our way
Better than going hungry – groundhogs tastes as good as pork chops when you don’t have pork chops.
Without the culture of food preservation civilizations die out.
Those with the smallest of gardens can have fresh food.
Food security
Not wasting food
Living in a remote location it is hard to get vegetables year-round. This gives us healthy food in the off seasons.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
I can handle life changing events.
Pass on knowledge to future generations to help them survive environmental change
Use food that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage
Less packaging
Self-reliance creates a feeling of strength in a world of dangers.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing things myself. I am also becoming less trusting in the general good supply, so being self-sufficient is a valuable skill.
I enjoy canning & preserving because it provides a way to use the abundant harvest without it going to waste.

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