Why Can Foods?
Canning can be a safe and economical way to preserve quality food at home.
Disregarding the value of your labor, canning homegrown food may save you
half the cost of buying commercially canned food. Canning favorite and
special products to be enjoyed by family and friends is a fulfilling
experience and a source of pride for many people.
Many vegetables begin losing some of their vitamins when harvested. Nearly
half the vitamins may be lost within a few days unless the fresh produce is
cooled or preserved. Within 1 to 2 weeks, even refrigerated produce loses
half or more of some of its vitamins. The heating process during canning
destroys from one-third to one-half of vitamins A and C, thiamin, and
riboflavin. Once canned, additional losses of these sensitive vitamins are
from 5 to 20 percent each year. The amounts of other vitamins, however, are
only slightly lower in canned compared with fresh food. If vegetables are
handled properly and canned promptly after harvest, they can be more
nutritious than fresh produce sold in local stores.
The advantages of home canning are lost when you start with poor quality
fresh foods; when jars fail to seal properly; when food spoils; and when
flavors, texture, color and nutrients deteriorate using prolonged storage.
======================================================= === * USDA
Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (rev. 1994) * Meal-Master format
courtesy of Karen Mintzias