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post #21 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Tbone, I'm sorry but I have to call a big BS on your immune system statements. Just because someone is a dumpster diver doesn't mean they will not suffer the effects of other disease entities - the human body does not work that way. And, most of your natural immunities were passed down to you from your parents and grandparents the day you were born.

Living in a semi-sterile environment is a myth that someone created many years ago and expected the world to believe it really exists. There is no such thing as a sterile environment other than those created in labs for a specific purpose. Not even a hospital operating room is sterile - I should know - I spent 15 years working in medicine and saw lots of surgical wound infections. I only saw 4 cases of tetanus in all that time, three of the patients died with days of being admitted to the hospital. One was contracted from a rose thorn *****, one from a trash can lid, and I cannot recall where the other two originated.

If someone washes their hands and sterilizes their food preparation surface with a bleach solution, all they've really done is decrease the chances of contracting a nasty pathogen. Why not just cut up some raw chicken on a plastic cutting board, then chop some onions and other veggies for your garden salad on the same, unwashed board? Ya think ya might get a bad case of the trots, or something worse?

If you were a dumpster diver and someone that had a nasty case of TB coughed in your face, there's a real good chance you would contract TB. Most folks that take the time to carefully clean their food preparation surfaces and storage containers don't have nearly as many health issues as those that ignore the rules of safe, food preparation. Those rules were established for good reasons. That's why we still pasteurize dairy products - it prevents lots of nasty deaths. I've seen enough of them first hand to know the difference. Keep in mind that most of the deaths during the US Civil war were from disease - not battle wounds. More people died from dysentery than from gunshot wounds. And, I can guarantee you that their personal hygiene habits were horrendous.

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post #22 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Calling me a dumpster diver is pretty low, and you should apologize. I never mentioned anything of the sort. I grow most of my own food and trade my locally grown food for other locally grown food. If I called you a lysol pushing hack who didn't know crap, how would you feel?

I use antibacterial dish soap every time I do dishes, and I don't leave dishes undone for days on end. My kitchen and galley are clean and organized, as are my dishes, pots, pans, and utensils. A good cook always takes care of his/her food and tools. Whether I chop food on a plastic or wooden cutting boards, raw meat always gets washed off with dish soap, and it doesn't sit there any longer than it takes me to eat my meal.

I have chopped raw chicken on a plastic and wooden cutting board, and chopped veggies on the same board, although off to the side, and eaten the veggies without cooking them. And you're wrong, I felt fine. Never a bubble in my stomach, let alone constant trips to the bathroom.

I suppose because you used to work in the medical field, you feel like you're an expert on all things bacterial, viral, and otherwise, but I would take anything you say with a grain of salt. I think you mistake my practices for slovenliness and dismissal of safe habits, and you would be wrong. Whether you know what you're talking about or not, you don't know my practices and habits, and don't you dare call me a dumpster diver again. I know where my food comes from and I know what will make me sick and what won't. I've met plenty of electricians, auto mechanics, and carpenters of 20 or more years of experience that did lousy work. Just because you spend that long in a field doesn't mean you're an expert, and certainly doesn't mean you should dismiss someone else's habits or practices that you don't know based on a very small amount of information they've provided.

The fact that you dismiss my thoughts tells me you try to sterilize everything that goes in or around your food too, and I bet you would spend a couple hours on the pot eating the vegetables cut on the chicken cutting board while I'm carrying on without a hiccup.

Last edited by Tbone; 06-15-2015 at 05:13 PM.
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post #23 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

I believe that the idea of being exposed to various bacteria and beasties is called the hygiene hypothesis. It makes sense to me, get those kids out playing in the dirt.

But it has nothing to do with botulism toxin. When it grows in an anaerobic environment (canned food) it creates a lethal toxin. It's not something your immune system deals with, it's a poison.

Here's a story from the 1930s about a dozen North Dakota farmers killed by some canned peas sprinkled on a salad:
Home canning incident led to 13 deaths from botulism 80 years ago

These are not people who grew up with lysol and hand sanitizers, they probably had the strongest immune system you can imagine! Didn't do a thing against botulism.

I eat veggies from my garden without washing them and through college I lived on day-old (and two-day-old and three-day-old…) unrefrigerated pizza. A few bacteria here or there, meh, I don't care. But I would be very careful about botulism and canning. Follow the FDA's guidelines.

(Also? Mmmmm… Bacon…)

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post #24 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Minnesail, I haven't had any experience with botulism or known or even heard of anyone that has. I know it's a thing, but was under the impression that it's pretty uncommon. I wouldn't expect my immune system to handle botulism. I also eat stuff from the garden without washing them, and have done the several day old unrefridgerated pizza thing. It doesn't mean someone can rightly call you a dumpster diver though. It must take a lot of screw ups to can something poorly enough to create a botulism problem. The canning procedure really is not hard. You just have to do it right.
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post #25 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Not only that but there are some nasty organisms around today that have figured out how to get past all our attempts to avoid them. The Florida "flesh-eating" bacteria news of late is an example of how vulnerable we are. Home canning is probably safer than eating at a restaurant as far as food borne-illness. If I'm going to ingest it, I'm going to be damned careful to do it right, more so than the minimum wage factory worker packing chicken or the workers in a busy restaurant kitchen. I have never been sick from anything I've canned. Can't say that about restaurant food as I discovered in Florida last winter. Never been so sick in my life.

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post #26 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

I'm interested to know which areas of the planet would actually require carrying all these canned goods. Surely not Nth and Central America, nor most of South America, not Europe, not much of Asia, not Australia though yes to areas of the South Pacific. Obviously if you want to be spending a lot of time away from civilisation while eating as you do at home then yes, you might have a problem. Of course the solution is to eat local produce but I appreciate that some of you wish to stick to what you know and are accustomed to. Me, I've travelled fairly extensively and have yet to find a place where I could not cope with what the locals eat.

For sure, there are times when a certain quantity of non fresh produce would be nice to have but to my mind not enough of them to justify the palaver of going down the canned route and if I'm reading this correctly it's not really canned more bottled. Not sure I'd want to be carrying vast quantities of glass simply in order to eat the same way in the South Pacific as I do in Sydney but I reckon we'd muddle through without the being reduced to a diet of nothing but sprouts, dried fish and brown rice.

I suppose then that I figure most of our cruising will be/is done in areas where we are not likely to be completely isolated for more than a few weeks at a time and I reckon, indeed I know we can carry enough stores to see us through. It would be interesting to read of the experiences of those who have spent some time in seriously isolated areas ..... Jon Eisberg, Billy Ruffin, please chime in ...... and how they fed themselves.
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post #27 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Yes, today's US culture is excessively clean. There is something to be said for exposure to some pathogens where you might build tolerance or immunity. However, there are many bugs that you can't, so buyer beware.

As for canning bacon, I think it requires a brine solution to work properly.


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post #28 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone View Post
Minnesail, I haven't had any experience with botulism or known or even heard of anyone that has. I know it's a thing, but was under the impression that it's pretty uncommon.
Hmm, yeah I guess you're right about the uncommon part. According to the CDC:
Quote:
In the United States, an average of 145 cases are reported each year.Of these, approximately 15% are foodborne, 65% are infant botulism, and 20% are wound. Adult intestinal colonization and iatrogenic botulism also occur, but rarely. Outbreaks of foodborne botulism involving two or more persons occur most years and are usually caused by home-canned foods.
So 145 * 0.15 = 22 deaths a year from foodborne botulism. So, roughly, lightning strike territory.

Still, I'm going to follow the guidelines closely when/if I start canning.

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post #29 of 90 Old 06-15-2015
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Re: Canning Your Food

Have to agree with those who feel we are overly neurotic these days about personal hygiene though yes it does seem eating in a restaurant is riskier than at home. From memory I don't believe I've ever been ill from eating my own food. Some of it hasn't necessarily tasted all that flash but that's more my cooking than bugs.

Even eating out a fair bit, including market stalls and street vendors throughout Asia (though not Africa) I've only been caught out a handful of times and in every case it has been from food in an established restaurant not a street vendor.

btw .... food poisening from eggs is (I believe) more related to bugs on the shell than the egg itself. Cracking an egg on the side of a bowl or separating using the shell are apparently the main culprits.

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Re: Canning Your Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Not only that but there are some nasty organisms around today that have figured out how to get past all our attempts to avoid them. The Florida "flesh-eating" bacteria news of late is an example of how vulnerable we are. Home canning is probably safer than eating at a restaurant as far as food borne-illness. If I'm going to ingest it, I'm going to be damned careful to do it right, more so than the minimum wage factory worker packing chicken or the workers in a busy restaurant kitchen. I have never been sick from anything I've canned. Can't say that about restaurant food as I discovered in Florida last winter. Never been so sick in my life.
I agree, and well said.

TDW - as far as the canning goes (and yes, we call it canning, but the food goes into glass jars. Not sure why we don't call it "jarring"), I'm doing it to save money while cruising, not because I don't want to eat the local food. I imagine the others are canning for the same reason if they bring their canned food aboard. I will certainly shop at local markets as much as I can, and I love trying new food and eating what locals eat. I have a special interest in food trucks and street vendor food, so when I get out there, I'll want to be all over that, but realistically, I'll be living on a very very small income (I've quit my job to cruise and am no where near retirement age), so my canned food is backup when I'm under way and when I can't afford what I'd rather have. Plus, I like knowing where my backup food came from, and I love to cook, so having soups and home grown beans and sauces that I can cook quickly on the hook makes sense to me. I trust it more than I trust the $1 can of Dole green beans. And when I go through enough jars and have empties, I can shop local markets and can the local food the same way.

Minnesail, I wouldn't have had the patience to look up those stats, but, nice work. I suppose it's always something I should keep in the back of my mind. It's really pretty easy to regulate the canning process though. Make sure everything is fully cooked and make sure all jars seal well. Someone else said it right on this thread... pay attention to the concave lid. If it pops up and down, or if it's convex, it didn't seal. That food is still perfectly good (for now), but it should go straight to the fridge and be used before any of the others. Consider it a can or jar of anything else that, once opened, should be used or it will go bad. Also, once the food is cooked and you divide it up into your jars, you're pressure cooking it for a little while to create the seal, so really, the food is being cooked twice, the second time under pressure. The lid should always be wiped clean and dry before putting the lid and screw cap on and before it goes into the pressure cooker. But really, that's about it. You really have to mess up to kill yourself. Haha.
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