Last week I talked about the "why should I can" and also why you should try it again if you had a bad experience. You can find that here.
Today I've been thinking about another really important reason to can....food allergies.
Do you have food allergies? Do you know someone that does?
Did you know that:
- Food allergy is a growing public health concern in the US
- More than 12 million Americans have food allergies. That’s one in 25, or 4% of the population.
- The incidence of food allergy is highest in young children - one in 17 in children under 3
- About 3 million children in the US have food allergies
- The CDC reported that food allergies result in over 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children
- Eight foods account for 90% of food allergic reactions in the US: milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish
- There is no cure for food allergies
- Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved and require constant vigilance
For example...my nephews are allergic to a whole host of things. Most of which I have a hard time remembering so I clear anything and everything I feed them with my sister first. Most of the time I joke that the only things I can feed them are mac&cheese and hot dogs because they are the only things I know they can eat.
These little guys aren't allergic to normal things. They can have milk and eggs and wheat, but are allergic to strawberries, nuts and cinnamon.
Seriously...one of them is allergic to cinnamon! That is one ingredient that you WILL NOT find on a label. It's hidden in the "spices" listing. The only way to know for sure is to call the company that makes it and even then they aren't always sure. Recently we discovered that Lawry's Seasoning Salt has cinnamon. Would you have guessed that??
So how can you guarantee that these foods aren't coming near them? Home canning.
When you can your own food, you know for sure what's in it. I can make applesauce that has only apples and sugar or soup that only has real veggies, beans and farm raised meat. How about spaghetti sauce that is only tomatoes from your own garden, basil, oregano, onions and garlic? Doesn't that sound heavenly?
With these home canned foods I know exactly what has gone into their making and can feel comfortable feeding them to people with food allergies. You can do the same.
No more reading labels all the time. With home canned foods you can have a pantry filled with choices that you know are guaranteed to work with your allergy restrictions.