I am pretty much convinced that when it comes to canning, there are really only two kinds of people in the world: People who love canning, and people who have never really tried it. I don’t currently have the space or means to do much canning, but the benefits from putting up your own canned goods just go on and on. I think there is just something fantastic about knowing that you’re not only being self-sufficient, prepared, frugal and also healthy.
In fact, there are dozens of reasons why canning is not only a fantastic pastime but something everyone ought to do at least once. I’m certain some of you can probably add to this list, but to start, here are 20 reasons why you ought to start canning:
- Better food quality – Canned food has just as much nutrition as fresh, and when you can your own, you can be certain that all of the ingredients are high-quality and harvested at their peak. Also, who knows how long that store bought can has been sitting on the shelf or in a warehouse?
- Avoid BPA – There are a lot of concerns about BPA in commercial canned goods right now, but if you’re making it at home, then you obviously don’t need to worry.
- You control what is in it – Some preservatives are necessary in canning, but commercial canners use different ingredients than home canners. Make your own and control every step of the process!
- It’s eco-friendly – What could be more eco-friendly than preserving excess harvest to use for later? Also, most jars and rims are reusable which makes for less waste.
- It’s budget-friendly – Whether you’re growing your own or buying in-season foods in bulk from local farmers, canning will be easier on your wallet through the winter months.
- Makes you feel good – Home canned goods are not only healthier for your body, but there is also a sense of accomplishment when you look over all of those jars of food you made with your own two hands!
- Prevent waste – Sometimes you just have more food than you can eat, and canning is a great way to get the most out of your garden or harvest.
- Relive harvest – There’s nothing quite like opening a jar of strawberry jam in the dead of winter and getting a touch of that sunshine when it’s snowing outside. Canning lets you do that.
- It tastes exactly how you want – Much like any other of home cooking, you can sweeten or spice all of your canned goods exactly to your own specifications, making for better-tasting food!
- They are great gifts – Canned goods make fantastic gifts to family, friends and loved ones. Not only is it easy, but it’s also thoughtful as canning isn’t as common as it once was.
- More variety in your diet – Eating seasonally is important, but with canned goods, you can be sure to get a wide variety of foods in your diet without breaking the bank.
- Saves time in the long run – Sure, canning takes some time, but imagine how much time you’d save if you didn’t have to make your famous homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch every time! You can save a lot of time by canning things you make frequently.
- Less sodium – The veggies you purchase in aluminum cans tend to have ridiculous amounts of sodium in them, which not only tastes a little weird but is also unhealthy.
- Convenience – Whether you’re making homemade salsa, veggies or a meal-in-a-jar, canning can make meals incredibly convenient and simple. Just open, heat and eat! Healthy AND fast!
- Nutritious – Studies have shown that canned goods, when picked at their height, retain all of the nutrition they had when they were fresh for up to a year! So, making and eating canned goods really is just another way to extend the nutritional benefits of your garden.
- Easy way to stock a pantry – Whether you’re a prepper or simply like having a well-stocked pantry, canning is a great way to create a large amount of food without a huge investment of money.
- It’s fun – Canning, especially if you get some help from friends and family, can be a lot of fun.
- Be more independent – Self-sufficiency is something that I think everyone ought to strive for, and being able to can your own food is one of the more important steps towards that goal.
- Connect with past generations – Chances are, your grandparents or even great-grandparents probably did some kind of canning. Continuing those traditions is not only a great way to stay in tune with your past but also to preserve some of that family knowledge for the future!
- It’s delicious – Home canned food is absolutely delicious! Do you really need any other reason?
So, are you convinced yet? Really the only downside to canning is the time and research that it takes to get into the hobby and can safely. If you’re interested, why not check out our article about 10 beginner canning mistakes to avoid or read more about the easiest form of canning–water bath canning to get started!
For those of you who are already avid canners, I’d love to hear your input as well! Why do you can at home? What’s your favorite part? Tell me all about it in the comments!