To can, or not to can? That is the question…
Lee Ann recently sent Doctor Prepper this comment on preserving fresh fruits and vegetables:
For over 40 years I have followed the “store what you eat..” rule and we raise a garden. We cannot store that stuff long term for the most part, but we enjoy that food and it will last 2 to 4 years in the bottles and a year or a little more if needed in the freezer. Where we live we can take our garden produce to a cannery and can it so it will last a little longer.
A year ago I learned a trick that would have served me better years ago. I now inventory at least once a year and when I need something I check that notebook and then find what I have. I also buy in bulk enough to last me a little while because I can save money doing that and having it on hand. I juice or smoothie much of my frozen fruits and vegetables. I like them raw because of the beneficial enzymes that I need in my body. Long term storage should be put in cans or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers so they will be long term. If you dehydrate garden produce you can do that and keep it longer.
Doctor Prepper responds:
Great advice for all our readers! I’ve also found that by freezing home-dehydrated foods when well packaged will extend their shelf life considerably. That is especially true with meats, meat dishes, and jerky.
However, there’s real magic in canning—preserving in glass. Canned in bottles, and preserved properly, foods will last practically forever—there are records of more than 50, and even projected to last for 90+ years! While I don’t know of any bottles lasting that long, it’s the best method for really long-term food storage! It’s a lost art that seems to be rebounding a bit lately.