In the early 19th century, the French discovered that by putting food in jars, then heating the jars, the food would keep over the harsh winters. Since then, the processes have been improved, but still the same principle remains. The science behind canning is simple; food+air(including mold, bacteria and other particulates around us)+ripening enzymes=food spoilage. Ripening enzymes are what cause your apples to turn brown after sitting out in the air for just a few minutes. Canning removes the air and suspends the ripening enzymes. Think of it as suspended animation. By heating the jar, it forces the air out. Boiling removes the oxygen remaining in the jar, which helps to form a tight seal between the lid and the rim. That’s why it’s important to be careful when tightening rings on jars; they should be just snug enough so they don’t come off, but loose enough to allow the oxygen to escape.
Fast forward to 1943. WWII brings a shortage of produce to those in the States. Most of the fruits and vegetables are being shipped overseas to the troops, and rations are put in place. The solution? Victory Gardens!
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