The past few decades have seen a decline in the art of food preservation. There are just so many convenience foods out there that many people do not want to take the time to do things for themselves. However, if you will notice also, that over the past few decades as we have moved farther away from home grown, home preserved foods, we have seen a dramatic increase in obesity, diabetes and other illnesses that were pretty rare in the past.
Many people believe there is a direct connection between the general downward spiral of people’s health and the modern world’s obsession with fast, convenient food. Everyone will admit that fresh, locally grown food is best, but few invest the time in actually making this food available for their families.
For hundreds of years the art of making preserves was not only a necessity in families, but it was also considered a fun event that could be enjoyed by the whole family and friends as well.
Although making preserves may be a declining art it is certainly not a dead one. There are many benefits you can reap by practicing this homey food tradition.
Some people might look at the money you would need to invest in produce and equipment and say, “Well, I can certainly by a jar of jam cheaper than that!” But you must consider that the money you invest is divided up over the entire batch of preserves you make.
Most people can make enough preserves in one day to last their family an entire year with some left over to give to friends. Making your own preserves is a cost effective way to prolong your enjoyment of seasonal produce.
Fresh preserves retain many of their naturally occurring vitamins, and because they have not been exposed to strange chemicals for storage purposes, you can rest assured that all you are ingesting is yummy! Also many people do not get their required servings of fruit each day. Preserves are an easy way to incorporate more fruit into a picky eater’s diet.
In this age of smart phones, tablets and Facebook, old fashioned family time in on a decline. Many people think that if they sent you a text today, or chatted with you on Facebook, they spent time with you. Not so. Human contact is still vital to our happiness and the health of our relationships.
The great thing about making preserves is that it is a process that can involve a group. If you are incorporating a trip to the farmer’s market or a u-pick farm beforehand, then you can count of doubling this fun experience. A day spent at the farm or the farmer’s market can be great fun for everyone in your family.
The canning process itself works best with a few pairs of hands, so involving the family not only makes the job easier, but creates some wonderful memories as well. Even little ones can be in charge of rinsing fruit or drying lids.
Encourages Local Economy
When making preserves, the fresher your produce the better. Unless you have grown your fruit yourself, then the best way to obtain large amounts of what you want is to head out to the local farmer’s market or u-pick farm.
These local businesses are often small, family owned operations that depend entirely on the patronage of local residents. Few people realize the great service that these businesses provide for communities. It is very important to buy locally whenever possible. You may not see it immediately, but when you buy locally you are improving your entire community.
It Taste Better
It does not matter what brand of jelly, jam or preserves you buy off of a shelf, it will not taste like homemade preserves created from locally grown produce. There is something special about eating something that you and your family created together from scratch. Just knowing that you have used the freshest food possible, and that you have all worked together makes your preserves taste better.
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