From the time we first learned that food could be packaged and stored, we’ve been trying to figure out how to keep food fresher longer and still produce that fresh from the oven taste. Manufacturing foods at home is a completely different technique than used in large manufacturing facilities who cook for preservation, not flavor.
The earliest type of preservation of food that we can think of off the top of our heads is salting meat and storing it outside during the winter, piling straw bales on top of carrots to keep them from freezing and bursting in the ground. These methods were effective only a small percentage of the time but we made do with what we had during that time period.
Times were completely different 50 to 100 years ago when , believe it or not, the only type of restaurants were sit down service type of eateries or get-togethers at family dinner tables and a neighbor’s buffet. There was no Burger King, no Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Dominos wasn’t around the corner to deliver in 30 minutes or less. Stores were only useful for quality staples and flavor was at the top of the list in desirable foods, not speed, because a shared meal was an offer of friendship and love. People were invited to taste the best of a cook’s new dish.
Using a store bought jar of spaghetti sauce probably isn’t an emergency situation but can be a lifesaver when time is limited. Busy schedules and the desire to participate in activities outside the house can push us into making sure we have premade manufactured foods on the cabinet which is one of the reasons why we have the “McDonalds generation”. Busy schedules promote fast food.
Fast forward to today’s methods of advanced manufacturing, we have perfected the technique of preservation all the way up to MREs that can be safely eaten up to ten years after date of manufacture. These can be life savers in emergency situations although at the time of eating it may not seem like a lifesaver, open the mouth and down the hatch.
When deciding what type of food you are going to prepare, take into consideration the amount of time you have to prepare it but also remember that every time you opt for that jarred version of spaghetti sauce off the shelf rather than cooking your own, you are choosing not only less flavorful food but you are also losing the ability to control what is in your food including preservatives such as large amounts of salt. Choose wisely and your family, your body, and your taste buds will thank you.