More and more people are starting to preserve their own food. Why? Is there a benefit to doing all that work when I can just buy it at the store already frozen, canned, or dried? What if I am too busy to put my own food up? What if I do not havep much room to store all that extra food? Why? What is it? How? I hope to answer some of these questions over the next few days, but, for today, let us focus on the "whys", "whats", and "ways" of preserving food.
WHY DO IT?
There are many reasons for preserving your own food, including the feeling of accomplishment, the time spent training your children, and the fun your family will have eating foods that you put up, but I only want to focus on the two biggest reasons I do it.
My biggest reason is the price. In a world where jobs are scarce and food prices are rapidly rising, being frugal with your money is important. There are ways of preserving food that cost nothing except the price of the food, and, if you have a garden, then that is zilch. There are other ways that require a little bit of money up front the first time, like canning and dehydrating, but will have virtually no expense involved in later years. Even when you get into the more pricey ways of preserving, the cost to put up your own food is lower than purchasing the same items from the grocery store.
The second reason I choose to put my own food up is because of the health benefits of doing so. If you preserve your own food, you know exactly what you are getting when you open that jar or freezer bag. You know the food you are feeding your family is free of chemicals and preservatives. You know the fruits and vegetables have not been cooked so long that they have lost all their nutrition value. You know what is in each food, and you know it is good for you.
WHAT IS IT?
When we preserve food, we are "preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and micro organisms" on that food. These are the things that are responsible for decay, deterioration, and food poisoning. You must do this if you are planning to keep the food for any length of time.
WAYS OF PRESERVING
There are many ways of food preservation out there, but I am only going to discuss those that can be done safely and frugally in your home. These include salting, pickling, sun-drying, smoking, dehydrating, canning, and vacuum sealing. Tomorrow we will begin to talk about each of these and more, beginning with "THE OBSOLETE WAYS"!
Each day's topic will include: a list of what you will need, step by step instructions on the how tos, and a recipe or two! If you are interested at all in preserving your own food, now or in the future, you do not want to miss this series! Click "join" or "subscribe" so you will not miss a post!
Do you put up your own food? What kind of food do you preserve each year? What preservation method or methods do you use? Do you have any hints, suggestions, or questions you would like to share?