International Can-It-Forward Day is observed every year on August 1. The fun holiday celebrates canning as a method for preserving local produce and making it more accessible to people.
So, whether you’ve got a bushel of turnips or a mountain of mushrooms, International Can-It-Forward Day is when you want to start your canning journey.
History of International Can-It Forward Day
Canning was developed as part of a concerted effort made by the French government, which offered a significant cash award to anyone who could invent a way to preserve food in large amounts. The discovery that food cooked inside a jar wouldn’t spoil was the beginning of canning, and food began to be preserved in glass jars.
Over time, the glass jars evolved into tin cans. Initially, the process was laborious and time-consuming, making canning quite expensive. Only people who could afford to spend money on expensive glass jars and metal tins would be able to can their produce. Still, the preservation method was valuable, especially for the armed forces who needed supplies that would last for long periods.
Middle-class households in Europe took to canning as a novelty, but it wasn’t until the mechanization of the canning process that the method became a popular way of preserving food. Soon canned food spread out of Europe into America, and while it was popular during wars, it was also an easy and cheap way to keep a variety of food conveniently accessible.
Today, canning has spread beyond the industrial process and become accessible to the average home gardener and food enthusiast, with several home canning tools and products becoming readily available. With the growing interest in home canning, companies producing canning tools began to actively celebrate fresh canning and started the International Can-It-Forward Day.
International Can-It Forward Day timeline
Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner, discovers that food cooked and sealed in jars does not spoil as part of the French government’s efforts to find a way to store food.
Bryan Donkin of the United Kingdom develops a way to seal food and produce in airtight cans.
Canned food starts to be seen as a convenient and easy way of keeping a variety of food on the shelves.
Due to the growing popularity of canning, the International Can-It-Forward Day emerges.
International Can-It Forward Day FAQs
How do you start canning at home?
The best way to can food at home is to use the pressure canning method and requisite tools.
Is canning worth the money?
Canning at home is cheaper than buying canned produce from the store.
Is canning better than freezing?
Canning is more cost-effective than freezing and preserves nutrients as well as freezing does.
International Can-It Forward Day Activities
Start canning produce
If you’ve wanted to try canning for a while, the International Can-It-Forward Day is the best day to start. Get started by watching videos and blog posts on the topic. Then, apply your newfound knowledge to your fresh produce.
Share canning recipes
If you’ve been canning for a while, you likely have your own recipes. Share your unique recipes with everyone on the International Can-It-Forward Day.
Build a canning community
Canning is a great community activity. Meet your neighbors, exchange recipes and fresh produce from each other’s gardens, and start canning together.
5 Facts About Canning That Will Surprise You
Canned produce is edible for long periods
Freeze-dried canned produce has been found to be edible for over thirty years with proper storage.
Canning was seen as a status symbol
In the early 1800s, when canning was still expensive, middle-class households saw canning food as a novelty and a status symbol.
Early canning was done using lead
Using lead cans caused poisoning in many people, mainly soldiers, who consumed canned produce.
The quality was improved for morale
The quality of canned food was improved to ease the complaints of soldiers in World War I and improve overall morale among the troops.
Canned food preserves nutrition
Canned food typically has more nutritional value than food that has been preserved using other ways like freezing.
Why We Love International Can-It Forward Day
It is fun
Canning is a great way to preserve and share food. So, get everyone involved in the fun. It is not as hard as it looks.
It prevents food wastage
Canning food is a great way to use produce that would otherwise go to waste. It can help you make sure you’re not contributing to scarcity.
It makes food accessible
Fresh canning is a great way to spread traditional foods worldwide, especially produce that can only be grown in specific climates. Go shopping and see what foods you can find that would not ordinarily be available in your country.
International Can-It Forward Day dates