Compared to metal cans, glass jars are very stable, although they obviously don't take being banged around very well. The cardboard boxes most jars come in are well designed to cushion them from shocks. The box also has the added bonus of keeping damaging light away from food.
The major advantage of glass jars is that they are reusable. For wet-pack canning the lids must be replaced, but the rings don't. For dry pack canning even the lids may be reused probably indefinitely.
When you get right down to the bottom line, it is seldom practical strictly in terms of dollars and cents to wet-pack your own food in jars. When you count the cost of your equipment, including the jars, rings, lids and all the rest, along with a not inconsiderable amount of your personal time, the cost of purchasing or growing your produce, you'll almost always come out ahead to buy food canned for you by the commercial canning industry. That said, forget about the strict bottom line and examine more closely why you want to put up your own food. For many, gardening is a pleasure and they have to have something to do with the food they've grown! There's also the fact that for many, you simply cannot buy the quality of the food you can put up for yourself. The canning industry tries to appeal to a broad spectrum of the general public while you can put up food to your own family's specific tastes. Home canning is not so much about saving money as it is about satisfaction. You get what you pay for.
If home canning appeals to you, please allow me to point you toward the rec.food.preserving FAQ where much very good information about methods and techniques may be found.
Dry-pack canning using glass jars, on the other hand, may well make a great deal of economic sense. It is usually far cheaper per pound to purchase food in bulk quantities, but often unsuitable to store it that way. Breaking the food down into smaller units allows for easier handling and exposes a smaller quantity of food to oxygen and moisture before it can be used up. Of course, packaging used for doing this can be made of many different materials, but glass is often the easiest and most convenient to acquire and use. Used containers are frequently suitable and are often free or of little cost. One source of gallon sized glass jars are sandwich shops and restaurants that use pickles, peppers and other sandwich condiments. There are also half-gallon canning jars, though they are sometimes difficult to find. The brand I buy is made by Kerr.
Misc.Survivalism FAQs maintained by Alan T. Hagan, firstname.lastname@example.org
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