This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
If you have a successful garden or orchard, have a hunting or fishing
license, like to gather wild foods, or know friends and neighbors that do,
you will eventually be presented with an abundance of free foodstuffs.
Check out the zucchini and the green tomato recipes in pickling for two
common surpluses. U-Pick sites, roadside stands, and farmers markets sell
unusual varieties of produce at close to perfect ripeness, ready to be
preserved. Even supermarket produce in season is abundant, cheap, and can
be worth preserving.
If you have ever walked into an upscale food store, you might have noticed
that dried foods, exotic jams, chutneys, marmalades, flavored vinegars and
oils, pickles, cheeses, cured and smoked meats, etc, all are expensive
preserved foods. However, these items can be all be duplicated at home,
given the ingredients, expertise, and time. And all of these foods make
Commercially processed food can contain many ingredients that you might
want to avoid, anything from MSG, BHA, BHT, to salt, sugar, or starchy
By preserving food yourself, you can control your diet AND take back a
lot of control. In a stressed life, shutting out technology, kids, husbands,
wives or SO by going into the canning kitchen is an absolute balm. Into
recycling and reducing your garbage? If you can, you reuse your glass jars
and rings, throwing away just the lids. However, most techniques require a
fair amount of fresh clean water and take some electricity and time, so
they aren't quite as cost saving as you might think.
Waiting for the apocalypse? What if you get hungry? On a different note,
wouldn't you have wanted some home-preserved stuff while you were waiting
out that last blizzard/hurricane/natural disaster?
Some folks speak of the feeling of security that comes from knowing there is
"food in the house". Viewing the bounty on the pantry shelves whenever one
is stressed out or feeling over-taxed has a very therapeutic effect.
Another excellent reason for preserving is visitors. A well stocked pantry
means one can put on a feast of pretty fancy food almost any time. There is
nothing quite like a gang of family or friends and being able to sit with
them as they enjoy your offerings. If the preparation was done months ago ...
Food preserving is fun. Many preserving recipes are family traditions,
passed on through many generations. Often, the foods we preserve can tell
us much about our past, so trading recipes can tell us about each other.