Canning & Preserving Local Foods

What’s the point of canning in your home or buying canned foods at a farmer’s market? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of buying fresh, seasonal, chemical-free foods?

Not entirely so.

There are numerous ways to can and preserve local, seasonal foods, without adding toxins or chemically-derived preservatives.


Methods of Canning and Preserving Foods Include:

  • Pickling
  • Freezing
  • Dehydrating
  • Water bathing
  • Pressure canning
  • Fermentation

Examples of these methods include fruit jellies and jams, pickles, salsas, preserved vegetables and wines made through the process of fermentation. These are plentiful at your Texas Farmers’ Markets.

The Benefits of Canned Fruits and Vegetables:

  • The shelf life of perishable foods like fruits and vegetables can be extended to avoid waste.
  • Seasonal foods can be enjoyed beyond the current cycle. Pumpkins for instance are common in the Fall, but can be enjoyed in Winter, Spring and Summer when preserved.
  • Condiments and sauces are healthier choices when bought local from food artisans.

Canning and Preserving Safety Concerns:

To eliminate the risk of BPA contamination, vendors will usually make use of glass jars as opposed to tin cans. In addition, BPA-free liners and lids are utilized.

Local vendors are most often equipped with knowledge regarding the preservation of foods – the natural and safe way. This includes:

  • How to sterilize glass cans and lids
  • Avoiding cross contamination between meats and produce
  • Exercising proper handling and packaging procedures
  • Observing the required food code temperatures
  • Distinguishing between acidic and non-acidic foods

In addition, our farmers markets require that vendors obtain a permit to sell preserved and canned foods that include proper labeling and that these foods have been prepared in an inspected commercial kitchen.

Next time you head to your farmers market, be sure to pick up a few healthy and tasty canned foods, just like jams, salsas, pickles and more.

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