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Day 36: Canning the B-Word

Over the summer we were up to our ears in vegetables. We ate much of it, froze a bunch of it and, sadly, fed some to the horses and chickens just to be rid of the excess.

I would have desperately loved to put up some more of it for the long winter ahead, but I ran out of room in the freezer. And I don't can foods.

I don't know how to can, but assume I'm intelligent enough to learn. It's not a matter of time either; if I really wanted to do it I could make the time.

It's the B-word that gets me: botulism. I'm terrified of accidentally poisoning a family member or friend.

My canning neighbors, of whom there are several, think I'm certifiably nuts. They've canned foods for years with never a problem. My mother canned when I was a child. There was a time when if you wanted to eat through the winter, canning was a necessity.

Done correctly, canning is a perfectly safe way to store food. Still, I resisted, thinking that the nice, shiny tin cans at the grocery store were a much better way to go.

That is, until I found out many store-bought canned foods contain their own B-word: bisphenol A (also known as BPA.) The white lining on the inside of certain cans contain BPA, which leaches into our food. BPA can cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, reproductive problems and who knows what else.

This just reaffirms that this whole self-sufficiency thing is the best gift I can give to my family. Suddenly, home-canning doesn't seem so scary.

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