I bought my first set of mason jars (made by Ball) and a regular canning pot (not a pressure canner) so I can try my hand at this skill that has been largely forgotten over the course of two generations… Or so I thought, until I started checking out the Best Sellers List on Amazon.com and noticed that the Presto 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner, the Back To Basics Home Canning Kit, and the Granite Ware 21-Quart Covered Preserving Canner with Rack were ALL THREE on the list of Top-Selling products on Amazon.com this month.
Is it a coincidence that I am getting into canning at the same time that so many other people are starting to rediscover the art? Hardly. I think it has more to do with the fact that our food supply chain is broken, as evidenced by recall, after recall, after recall after recall… of foods coming from corporate, industrial-sized farms and distribution channels. People are tired of wondering if their next meal is going to include a dose of e. Coli, Listeria or Salmonella. Sure, canning your own food carries the same risks, including nasty things like Botulism. But we KNOW how careful we are when canning, which is more than we can say about the people who make foods we buy in stores. It’s all about taking control over your health and what you eat.
Then there is the environmental impact of shipping fresh tomatoes from Mexico to Ohio in the middle of January. This is the topic of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – a book I highly recommend (review to come soon).
It seems that several factors are coming together these days, which are awakening America and much of the Industrialized world to the fact that we have lost something along the way to prosperity. Whether you want to live off the grid, grow an urban garden, buy from farmer’s markets or can your own foods – you are not alone. Simple, local living is making a comeback and not a day too soon.