Do you watch the news and wonder what is going on in our world today? Everywhere we look, there seems to be some terrible things happening – from economic slowdowns, to terrorist attacks, to viral outbreaks, and to uncontrolled disasters. Worse, these cataclysmic events are increasing in frequency and intensity. This world like never before is truly in a serious state of uncertainty.
In times of emergency situations, foods, medicines, electricity, and other necessities can be both unavailable and inaccessible. That’s why the government and different organizations are encouraging every family to prepare for these unexpected situations like canning 101. Preparing for emergencies and disasters starts with a comprehensive plan of building an emergency food supply. In today’s period of uncertainty, having a good supply of food is crucial as it can help you and your family survive in times when recovery could take months or even years. This is where canning and food preservation come in.
Canning is a simple and safe method of preserving food. The process involves placing foods in containers and heating them in a specific period of time to kill the unwanted microorganisms. During the heating process, the air is forced out of the container, creating a vacuum that prevents bacterial growth and proliferation.
Canning provides sterilization and increases the shelf life of food products for up to 1-5 years, or even more depending on the type of food and way the product is prepared and stored.
There are several methods of canning, but only two are currently approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and these are the water bath and pressure canning techniques.
1.Canning 101: Water Bath Canning
Also known as hot water canning, this method is the simplest method of canning, in which filled jars are submerged in a large pan of boiling water and heated to a high temperature (212 °F) for a specific amount of time. This method is ideal for foods with high acidity, such as tomatoes, berries, pickles, and fruit juices.
2.Canning 101: Pressure Canning
Contrary to popular belief, pressure canning is not complicated, although it requires a little more skill and specialized equipment. In this method, jars filled with foods are placed in a special pressure cooker with 2-3 inches of water and heated to a very high temperature (240 °F) to eliminate the risk of bacterial growth. Pressure canning is typically used for preserving foods with low acidity, such as meat, vegetables, and soups.
As mentioned, canning is a simple method of preserving food, and almost anyone can do it. But to get started, you need to have the right tools and equipment. Here’s the basic list:
- Canning jars with lids
- Large pot
- Jar lifters
- Pressure canner (for pressure canning)
Although water bath and pressure canning use different kinds of canners, the overall process for both is almost the same. Here’s how:
- Gather the ingredients. Make sure that you only get the best and freshest.
- Clean and dry all the jar/containers, lids, and equipment.
- Wash and prepare the ingredients.
- Fill the jars with foods, wipe the rim, and tightly screw on the lids and bands.
- Place the jars in canners and heat at a specified temperature for a specified length of time.
- Remove the jars from canners and cool.
- Label and store in a cool, dry place.
Learning the basic facts of food preservation can give you a gift of lifetime independence and self-sufficiency. If you have plenty of food supply at home, when a tough situation happens, food will not become a problem.