Apparently there are many people who feel that this method is not safe and that the US government says is is not an accepted method for canning or that it is not an approved method of canning by the USDA. They also say that this method is not approved for those entering items in a contest.
That last one is so simple to me. I think the people to whom inversion canning appeals…are like me. They have not the slightest intention of entering their jam or jelly in a contest. They just want a simple method with which to make a jam or jelly. Then they want to enjoy their yummy homemade jam/jelly.
As for the other issue, I did some research about all of this because I am not the type of person to believe everything I hear. I also don't necessarily trust that our government knows it all or, honestly, even that they have my best interest at heart. There are many practices that we adhere to in our country that I completely disagree with related to our food supply and how food gets to our table in America. In my opinion Europe is far ahead of is in it's food production, safety and practices. I don't want to further make this simple post controversial by adding more as that is not my point. I am just trying to give you a foundation for my opinion.
I went straight to the source in order to gain the correct information. You can read the same document I read here: Preserving Foods: Processing Jams and Jellies.
No where in that article does it state that you can't use the inversion method. Nor does it say anything about life threatening illnesses as have been stated can happen. It also does not state that the boiling method of canning is the only approved method for canning.
What the article states is that the USDA and the Cooperative Extension endorse the boiling method of canning. Their main reason has to do with mold growth related to spoilage of the food you have made and preserved. They say that they don't want you to lose any of that expensive food you have just canned (my paraphrase) so the most foolproof method of preserving will be the boiling method.
If you read the article, there is a Q & A section which addresses the inversion method of canning. In that section, they let you know that it is not their recommended method because you might get interrupted and your product might cool down too much. They also let you know that it is possible that the vacuum seal may not be strong enough with this method and finally they warn that you will be working with the hot product and you could get burned. In addition to that, they let you know that if you don't get the lids on tightly, you may further get burned if the hot jam spills out as you are inverting your jar.
I feel like they are talking to a dumby. No really, you are working with a hot product!? I am shocked. You are going to be working with a hot product either way. I also think it is quite obvious that you need to do this inversion method quickly and while super hot. It is my understanding that you must do the boiling method exactly the same working with you extremely hot jam.
As to the claim that the seal is weaker with the inversion method. I, of course, read that this may not actually be true. I read that with today's jars with the pop top (you know the center button), if that button is down and not popping up, you have a strong enough seal. You will have to make up your own mind on that one.
By the way, they are right that you might get burned….I would actually say you will get burned or at least your fingers will need a few days to recover. Maybe I do things totally wrong, but I haven't found a way to deal with the molten lava that is hot jam without my fingers taking a hit. It's hot. If that scares you, don't do it.
As to the potential for mold, the article says that their is a potential risk for mold growth. It says that some molds may produce mycotoxins. They state that they don't know what the actual danger is to humans consuming mycotoxins, but that animal studies seem to show a potential risk and therefore there may be a risk to humans. It is also a possibility that these mycotoxins may be carcinogenic in animals, but again they don't know if it has any role in human disease. So therefore it is difficult to assess the health risk of consuming molding jam or jelly. They then go on to make sure you know that if you find moldy jam, you should throw it away…the whole jar.
Now this is where I may get many comments and my own views may be a problem in stirring up more controversy. I'll take a risk. Listen, what they are saying above is that their is a potential for mold growth on your precious jam or jelly and that it may or may not grow a mold called a mycotoxin (they don't know if it is this kind of mold or not). That mold may or may not be a carcinogenic (cause cancer). OK, really, it may or may not grow the mold that may or may not be a carcinogenic in animals. Really? There are so many items that are in our food supply and/or our food production and beauty products that are known carcinogenics and our government says are perfectly safe. So, for ME, this is not enough to make me stop using the inversion method of canning.
I love that they feel the need to tell us that we should throw away any jars of jam or jelly in which we find mold…I did not know that(read that really sarcastically), did you?
Anyway, nowhere in this article is there reference to botulism and other scary problems with food safety as was told to me in reference to inversion canning is not safe. Maybe it would be part of the discussion if we were talking about using the inversion method with salsa and spaghetti sauce (tomato based things) but that is not what we are discussing here.
My final thing to add to this ‘discussion,' is that I have accidentally eaten moldy jam before. It wasn't even my homemade jam, it was store bought. It was the most disgusting food experience I think I have ever had. I still shudder when I think about it and I can unfortunately still remember the taste. That Boysenberry jam has yet to be allowed back in my house. I wouldn't wish moldy jam on anyone. I also think that the potential for mold growth is there with any NATURAL food product.
Now this is just my opinion and I think you need to do your own research and decide what you are comfortable with. Are you comfortable with the idea that your inversion jams and jellies may spoil faster than the using the boiling method? (Which, by the way, has not been my experience at all.) Does the potential for not being able to screw a lid on correctly and dumping hot jam all over your kitchen terrify you? Are you really worried that you may get interrupted too many times and not be able to process your jam/jelly while it is really hot? If you answer yes to those questions, then I would suggest you not to use the inversion method.
As to who should use the inversion method…I can't really tell you that. I can only tell you that I will continue to use the inversion method. I am comfortable with the ‘risks' and I love the rewards. I will not use the inversion method for anything but jams/jellies and I have used it for syrup as well. I do think their are greater risks with preserving other types of food and I am not willing to take those risks. I have tasted moldy jam and I have lived to tell about it. I still shudder from it, but I'm still alive and kicking! 🙂 (I am in no way trying to make light of the fact that their are some sickness/disease that can come from mold and I do understand that it can happen…I am merely making light of my disgusting mold ‘incident.' Blech Blech Blech!)
Please check your jams/jellies for mold before you eat them whether they are homemade or store bought…it is disgusting and you don't want that experience…trust me….shuddering now.
Thanks for stopping back by and learning with me.
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