Why Should Food Canning Be Apart of Your DIY Long Term Food Supply Prepping?

DIY long term food supply methods, if done correctly, is an economical and healthy way for you to supplement and even totally

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fulfill your emergency food supply needs.  So, you should definitely think about using home-canned foods for your  food pantry and also consider using DIY food storage methods to start assembling your one year supply of food or for your 30 day emergency food supply storage.  So, think beyond Walmart food storage and learn to can food.

Also, if you don’t count the time spent canning, home canning costs less than half the price of store-bought canned food and, promptly canned food can be even more nutritious than recently harvested, non-preserved, foods. For example, many recently harvested vegetables will immediately start losing vitamins. In fact, almost one-half of the vitamins in recently harvested vegetables (unless they are promptly frozen) will likely be gone in a couple of days. Also, refrigerated produce loses around half or even more of their vitamins.

With food canning you will only lose from around 1/3 to 1/2 of only riboflavin, thiamine and vitamins A and C. Also, once the food is canned you will lose approximately 5% to 20% of the above vitamins yearly. But, the vitamin loss from other vitamins, in home canned foods, is slightly lower than even fresh foods. So, if you correctly handle and promptly can your vegetables , home canned vegetables can be even more nutritious than even fresh produce.

Please Note: Any advantages of DIY food canning will be minimal if the food canned is substandard food, canning jars are not properly sealed and with time.

How Food Canning Works

Most fresh foods because of being composed of mostly water quickly spoil. Some of the most common reasons food will spoil are:

  • Loss of water
  • Oxygen reactions
  • Food enzymes
  • Harmful microorganisms like bacteria, yeasts, and molds

Harmful microrganisms thrive and quickly multiply on outer surface of fresh food and inside insect infested, bruised and diseased food. Also, both oxygen and enzymes exist in all areas of the fresh produce tissues.

Best Practices For Food Canning

The best practices for food canning depends upon the type of food that is being preserved. However, these are some basic precautions that must be taken when canning food:

  • Carefully select and thoroughly wash your  fresh food
  • Peeling certain vegetables when fresh
  • Hot packing
  • Using acids, like lemon juice or vinegar
  • Make sure jars are of good working order, and use self-sealing jar lids
  • Cooking for the recommended time period

The above result in the following:

  • Oxygen is removed and enzymes are eliminated
  • Unwanted yeasts, molds and bacteria growth are prevented
  • Tightly sealed jars results in liquid retention and the reduction of unwanted microorganisms

Canning Safety

Improperly canned food can bring about, at best, food poisoning.  And, at worst, improperly canning food can result in botulism poisoning. Botulism is rare; but, botulism poisoning can result in paralysis and death.

Choosing The Right Canner

Choosing the right canner is perhaps the most critical step to make concerning food canning safety. Here, are some guidelines for selecting the proper canner:

First of all, make sure that your pressure canner is designed explicitly for food canning and is not just a pressure cooker.  Also, your canner needs to be the right size because under-cooking of food can occur if your canner is too small.

Pressure Canner Mandatory Use: For certain types of high-acidic food a pressure cooker is not necessary. However, because just boiling water will not kill botulism, you should  only use a pressure canner when wanting to preserve low-acidic food.

Examples of low acidic food are the following:

  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Poultry
  • Meat and Fish

Is Your Canner In Great Working Order?

All of the canner’s parts should be in proper working order. You should specifically check the following before using your cooker:
Gasket: If your canner uses rubber gaskets you need to ensure that the gaskets are soft and flexible, never sticky, have cracks or are brittle, check your pipes and see if there is a junk located in any pipes or vents in the canner.

Venting: Vent air from the canner for ten minutes right before starting up or pressurizing the food canner.

For Further Reference:

This site is a great guide for helping you learn how to safely and smoothly can and preserve your food. National Center for Home Food Preservationnchfp.uga.edu