Canning food is important in more than one way. Canning use to be very important tradition in many families in the past. Food preservation or canning was a way of life for many people. There is a gap in cultural knowledge of canning food because we are so depended on industries to can food for us. We depend on Mass Production and Mass Transportation to deliver food to us from 100 of miles away. But we can change all that if we bring back the tradition of canning food and being less depended on the Food industry for the food we eat.
Canning is also called Natural Storage because you can preserve fruits and vegetables in their natural state. It is an excellent way to store food you’ve grown on your own. Nuts, beans, peas, and grains store well in their natural state. An interesting fact that everybody should know is that you can store potatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes in cool places for 6 months!
The canning process can be fun, you can do it by yourself or you can can with friends and make it an activity to do every other month or when you pick the foods you’ve grown to store. To can you can use many different methods but the easiest and most popular is the Boiling Water Bath or Stem Canning process, this process is great for preserving high acid foods like; fruits, jams, pickles and jellies. For this process you have to boil water to 212 degrees (F). Using a Pressure Canner is the best way to process low acid foods such as; meats, beans, and vegetables. The Pressure Canner can reach temperature as high as 240 degrees (F), which is needed because high temperatures in both processes are needed to kill off bacteria that cause food to spoil.
We decided to make and can salsa because it seemed quick, easy and fun; which it was. We used the Boiling Water Process to can the salsa, because it was the fastest and easiest. The first step we did was make the salsa of course, the second step was to boil water and place the jars and lids in the pot for 5 minutes to sterilize them, next we poured the salsa in the jar leaving ¼ of space at the top, next we made sure there was no air bubbles in the jar, and we cleaned the jar and rim so no bacteria well form, then we place the lids on top and sealed it, and last but not least we boiled the jar with salsa in it and we were done.
It was a fun experience learning how to can salsa and learning the importance of canning food. Canning helps you eat in season and extends your season without having to buy food that was transported from another country. Eating in season is also healthier and better for you. Everyone should learn how to can because it fun, and a great way to bring friends and family together for a great night of canning foods.
YES YOU CAN CAN!
~ Tamara Sandoval