'Slate' Forgets That Urban Hipsters Aren't the Only Ones Canning Food


[Photograph: thebittenword.com on Flickr]

Slate takes a look at the recent upswing in food-canning but does so from a decidedly urban angle. Writer Sara Dickerman wonders whether DIY preservation actually saves money or if it's just a way for food bloggers to pat themselves on the back, get some bloggable material out of the activity, and showboat online.

And let's not kid ourselves that home-canning is particularly frugal. It's not impossible to save money by home preserving your food, but it takes a little investment to get set up for it, and you certainly won't cut costs by canning $5-a-pound heirloom tomatoes. Without a source of truly inexpensive produce (like vegetables you grow yourself), you'll find cheaper products in grocery stores. (The more convincing money-saving argument is that canning keeps down entertainment costs: An evening of making and packing picallilly is a cheerful way to pass time with friends, and it might substitute for the cost of a dinner out.)

Nowhere in the article, though, does it address the fact that many people do indeed have access to homegrown produce and that even in this day and age of commercially canned foods, many folks still do it themselves out of necessity.

Related: How Much Do You Know About Food Preservation?