Why I Preserve My Own Vegetables

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Written by Jackie Stevenson BS, DTR

This is a follow up to a post written over the summer, Canning: Effectively Preserving Your Harvest.

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I canned a whole boatload of veggies from the garden this summer, including several quart-size jars of green beans. Well, my husband and I finally dared to try them with dinner last night. The result?

They tasted….drum roll please…..like canned beans!

That’s right, they tasted like all 89-cent commercial canned green beans taste. They were the same gray-looking green color and had lost their usual fresh crunch.

Why then, had I bothered to can them in the first place?

I know the source of the product.

green-beans

Fresh beans, pre-canning

  • I grew those beans myself.
  • I know that I didn’t use chemical fertilizers or bug killer.
  • I know when I picked them, and how long they sat around before canning.
  • I know that I pressure cooked them at the correct pressure for the appropriate amount of time to make them safe to eat.

My glass jars are BPA and BPS free. Why does that matter?

  • BPA is linked to health problems like cancer, infertility and brain disorders (see Mercola’s article on the subject here).
  • BPA is used in plastic products like water bottles, and to line metal cans.
  • BPA is able to seep into food stored in these bottles and cans.
  • BPS is a “safe” alternative to BPA because less leaches into the food product.
  • BPS has been shown to cause similar health issues to BPA.
  • Food that is fresh, frozen or stored in glass are safer options.
  • Are glass jar lids BPA free? Most are, but are they also BPS free? Find out how to tell here. Probably not, but since its reported to leach into food less, I feel better about it.

Yes, canning my own vegetables probably cost more in time and energy (don’t forget growing time) than it would take to buy a can at the store, but I do take pride in the fact that I did it! And, for the reasons listed above, I will do it all over again next year.

You may also like:

Freezing Veggies: Simple How-To Guide

CT Garden Season In Full Swing

Got a canning story to share? We’d love to hear your success stories and disastrous canning episodes. Feel free to comment below!

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