Why Can Fruits and Vegetables?

  1. To make ourselves healthier and better nourished
  2. To provide a pleasing variety of succulent, tender young fruits and vegetables throughout the winter
  3. to save food which otherwise would go to waste

The chief fault to be found with many American dietaries is that they contain too large a proportion of manufactured foods, such as white flour and cornstarch and polished rice; of sugar and lard and oils, and of pies, cakes, candies, and sweets made from these things.  Canned fruits and vegetables will help to supply us more fully with organic acids, with mineral matter in various forms; and (to a certain extent) with vitamins.  Mineral salts and vitamins of several kinds are essential for growth, health, and well-being, and may sometimes be procured to better advantage from fruits and vegetables than from more expensive foods. It has frequently been urged that the heat of canning destroys vitamins.  Recent investigations, however, indicate that this is by no means invariably true, or if it occurs may be only partial.  So far as is known at present the value of canned fruits and vegetables as sources of much needed “mineral salts”, organic acids, and certain other valuable food materials is approximately equal to that of the freshly cooked fruits and vegetables.

Canning is one of the most desirable means of preserving fruits and vegetables; for it preserves these foods in a condition more nearly like that of the freshly cooked product than is the case with dried, brined, or pickled fruits or vegetables. There is also the further advantage that when the canning is done the product in the can is practically ready to serve.

Canned products are worthy of a larger share of the housewife’s consideration than they usually receive. They are, indeed, a valuable resource in time of emergency; yet they may also be used as foundation for a great variety of delectable dishes. There is a great difference between canned tomatoes simply heated as they come from the can and the dish of scalloped tomatoes which may be prepared from the same can, the contents of which have had their natural flavor judiciously enhanced by the addition of such seasonings as buttered crumbs or savory rice, green peppers, a few drops of onion juice, a bit of bay leaf, a spoonful of sugar, or a piece of mild cheese. The same principle applies to other canned products, most of which may be used in as many different dishes as may fresh fruits and vegetables.

Source:  U.S.D.A., 1922

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