canning supplies

Britesea

Sustainability Master
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
4,842
Reaction score
3,552
Points
333
Location
Klamath County, OR
Is there a botulinum test for the homesteader?
I have never heard of one. What makes botulinum so dangerous is that it is odorless, tasteless, and colorless; you won't know you've ingested it until it poisons you- which it does be killing the nervous system. When I took the Master Food Preservers Class, they had us listen to a tape made by a woman who survived botulism that she got from baked potatoes at a restaurant that had been held too long at too low a temperature.

The entire U.S. stores of botulism anti-toxin are kept under lock and key in Washington D.C. As soon as the doctor determined what the problem was, he called for it. They flew it out by express jet.

She describes being able to hear what was going on, as apparently those nerves hadn't been hit yet; but she could not open her eyes or twitch her face or move any other part of her body. I don't remember how long it took for the antitoxin to take effect, but she describes it as agonizing.

When she recorded this interview, it was 5 years later. She STILL got random nerve firings- like pins and needles, or hitting your funny bone all over her body, as her body was still rebuilding the damaged nerve system.

Botulism is NOTHING to be casual about. Botulinum spores are everywhere, you probably ingest some every time you eat a salad; but they are not a danger in and of themselves-- it is the toxin they produce that is the problem.

BUT. the toxin is destroyed by heat; so we use pressure canning to bring the food up to a specific temperature. The spores themselves are sensitive to acid; so we use vinegar, citric acid, and lemon or lime juice to up the acidic environment. If you are not completely sure, you can take a calculated risk and boil the suspect food for at least 15 minutes at a rolling boil, to neutralize the toxin; the spores will curdle up and die when they hit your gastric juices in your stomach.
 

Britesea

Sustainability Master
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
4,842
Reaction score
3,552
Points
333
Location
Klamath County, OR
you seriously eat decade old canned goods?
@Chic Rustler properly prepared canned food will last, literally, for a hundred years and still be perfectly safe to eat, although some (but surprisingly not all) of the nutritive value will have degraded, as well as the texture and look of the food.

In 1865, the steamboat Bertrand loaded with canned provisions left port for the mining camps in Montana. Unfortunately, it had too many provisions and the weight of the vessel caused it to sink early on in its journey.

It sat at the bottom of the Missouri River for nearly a century. Among the provisions were cans of plum tomatoes, mixed vegetables, peaches, oysters, and honey.

In 1974, NFPA chemist Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins found that these canned goods were just as safe to eat in 1974 as they were to eat 100 years earlier. They reported significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost; but protein levels remained high, and all calcium values 'were comparable to today's products.
 

farmerjan

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
75
Reaction score
130
Points
72
I've eaten canned goods over 10 years old. Especially things like applesauce and apple butter, and some other fruits although they get a little soft. And jellies and jams. Made all I could when they were plenty and ate for years if there didn't turn out to be another bumper to where I could can a bunch more. Have some on the shelf now that my mom made over 10 years ago. Have had tomatoes that were not dated..... but if the seal was good, and they smelled and looked okay when I opened them, then they got used. Sometimes things just got shoved back on shelves by accident.
 

BarredBuff

El Presidente de Pollo
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
9,223
Reaction score
815
Points
377
Location
Kentucky
I've eaten canned goods over 10 years old. Especially things like applesauce and apple butter, and some other fruits although they get a little soft. And jellies and jams. Made all I could when they were plenty and ate for years if there didn't turn out to be another bumper to where I could can a bunch more. Have some on the shelf now that my mom made over 10 years ago. Have had tomatoes that were not dated..... but if the seal was good, and they smelled and looked okay when I opened them, then they got used. Sometimes things just got shoved back on shelves by accident.
Absolutely. We preserve as much as we can in the bountiful years and eat on it for a long time.
 

Hinotori

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
2,510
Points
293
Location
On the foot of Mt Rainier
That's how we always did it when I was a kid. Never know when it will be a bad year. This year is a bad fruit year here. We warmed up in February and trees started budding. Then it dropped back into the 20s and lower. My great uncle checked all their trees last weekend and no fruit. Not even the walnuts. They are somewhat protected there. The eastern side of the Cascades got hit pretty bad and they grow most of the food.

So it's berries for everything this year mostly. The grapes are all fine as they didn't break dormancy.

We have a bumper crop of Pacific crabapples this year. They are just now blooming. Too bad they are so tiny. They produce large amounts every other year. We've had low years with just a handful because of late cold weather.
 

Britesea

Sustainability Master
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
4,842
Reaction score
3,552
Points
333
Location
Klamath County, OR
41 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
 

Hinotori

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
2,510
Points
293
Location
On the foot of Mt Rainier
We're well past time for storing our 7 years of grain for coming 7 years of famine.

But yes. All peoples stored extra for years of bad crops. People used to eat a wider variety of plants and animals as well so this scares me as we're at bigger risk for deficiency because of that.
 

henless

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
20
Reaction score
53
Points
60
Location
East Texas - Zone 8b
I have found that the Walmart jars are poor quality: have had some break during processing. No problem with the lids. So... I buy name brand jars, and WM lids.
I ordered the jars from Walmart, but they were Kerr brand jars.

Actually my wife taught me a splash of white vinegar in the pressure canner. Prevents white spots on the outside of the jars lids and rings. So that's what I do. Maybe 1 tablespoon is all I add and it works well.
I used to do this too, until last year. When I got out my canner, I noticed there was pitting in the bottom. I talked to a lady from Presto, and she said it was from the vinegar reacting with the traces of copper in the water. We have copper pipes in our house. So now I just wash my jars in soap/water the day after canning.

I was able to replace the busted jars with new ones from Walmart last week. Glad too since I used 1 1/2 cases today canning up some chicken & hamburger.
 
Top