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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A renewal in canning and stealth doomers

A recent Globe article high lighted the return of the canner, those intrepid folks who actually care enough about their food to do their own processing and preserving.

"The new breed of canner is driven by politics as much as practicality. A desire to eat locally and regain control over what goes into our food is fuelling a resurgence in farmers' markets and backyard kitchen gardens. Many see canning as a necessary step toward having year-round access to produce from their own region"

I admit that a portion of these people are simply foodies who wish to make their own distinct high quality food. Some of these folks are also recent converts to the local food movements like the 100 mile diet a useful and noble endeavour. Still others may be concerned about the health effects of eating genetically modified fruit and vegetables grown in China, sprayed with pesticides, adulterated with preservatives and sealed in a nice BPA lined can. Yummy!

What this article does not mention is that many of this new wave of canning enthusiasts are people preparing for the worst to happen. Peak oilers and their peak food brethren, those who fear a depression and unemployment and people who understand that a severe flu season could impair just in time food delivery systems all have sound reasons for taking food security into their own hands.

Now I understand this piece is from the food and wine section and I should not expect in depth journalism but would it be too much to ask that they at least throw the issue of food security a bone? Of course it's also quite possible that some of the people researched for the story simply lied about why they have started canning, these are people I call stealth doomers.

I know a number of these stealth doomers and if asked why? in a public environment will probably say "oh it's just a hobby", " I like to cook", "it tastes better". In reality they worry about the stigma that prepared or cautious people receive in our "live for the moment" society. The stories change drastically when you get them alone or in a small group of like minded people and you soon find out who has bags of rice under the bed, a solar oven or Berkeley water filter in the basement or even a gun in the attic, yet often their families and friends don't know about their preparations.

I remember a post from one lady saying she was afraid of having a guest stay over in her 2 bedroom apartment because if they oppened the guest closet they would find it filled with survival supplies. I'm not sure if it was fear of being mocked or fear of being robbed during an emergency.

Stealth doomers or not it's great news that people are canning again even if they are just making chutney. Just a year or two ago Bernardin Canada had proposed killing the Mason Jar line because canning was dying off and it was losing money for the company. Had this new wave of enthusiasts not arisen the jars would have been discontinued for sure and eventually the lids and seals may have ceased production.

Besides, chutney, salsa, relishes etc. are all good small batch preserves on which to hone your skills and when peak oil does begin to limit our variety of foods people will find that tasty condiments go a long way in limiting food monotony.

In our house gardening, gleaning, freezing, canning and seed saving have all been part of this years food security effort and I tell everybody exactly why I'm doing it. Doomers should open up more and encourage others to do the same, that way there will be less people at your door begging for chutney should/when the hard times come.Recommend this Post


Theresa said...

I started out being somewhat overt about my doominess, but have retreated into stealth mode a bit more lately. I guess I have to build up my strength to cope with certain levels of ridicule and disdain. My parents think I'm wacky but harmless, whereas my investment guy thinks I've gone off the deep end. My meeting with him tomorrow should be interesting. I'm bracing myself.

GAB said...

before the comments start in no way do I look like the lady being goosed in the picture.

PeterC said...

Well, when I started getting comments of "I'll just bring my family over to your house if there is trouble" I decided that stealth is a better way.

I asked the person who said above what he'd bring with him to help out and he was all offended. He is also one of these guys with the biker tattoos and who has to prove how much testosterone he has. I doubt he'd make it to my house, but if he did he'd be just as likely to attack me as ask permission...

I figure the world is crazy and I'm better off looking after myself.

Madmax808 said...

Most people have a low-brow approach to life... Life owes me a living, etc. I call it the mini-truck/mini-mind type of people.

Apathetic as hell, they easily are suckers for "Global Warming is a Hoax" because it validates their being a pud. It valifstes their arrogant laziness, their refusal to even recycle a soda can, and their position that military force is always a "good" thing. In cowboys and indians they always chose the cowboys of course.

They are the classic asshole grasshoppers, WE are the enlightened ants: Let 'em starve. Let darwinism work.


Stealth is better. Act poor. Act like you're in a 3rd world country: Reveal nothing & blend in.

Watch the Collapse movie. Ruppert's analagy of Titanic and the lifeboat and the 3 kinds of passengers is excellent! The ones who are arrogant will go back to the bar and laugh at us for getting the lifeboat ready... screw 'em.