Jun 3, 2006

Saving Our Harvest

The Story of the Mid-Atlantic Region's Canning and Freezing Industry by Ed Kee

"In the 1840’s, a few pioneering entrepreneurs in Baltimore began preserving Chesapeake Bay oysters by cooking them in hermetically sealed cans. This was the beginning of America’s food processing industry. Subsequently, a major food industry that canned and froze vegetables, fruit and seafood spread across the Mid-Atlantic States of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware. By the end of the 19th century, nearly 1,000 independent canning companies, representing sixty-one percent of America’s canneries, were operating in these four states. The food canning and freezing industry, above all, is the story of innovative people – processors, farmers, mechanics, factory workers, farm workers, oyster shuckers and many more – interacting with each other and their environment as they brought science, technology, old fashioned common sense and an incredible work ethic to bear on the task of growing, processing, and marketing high quality, safe and nutritious canned and frozen foods to America and the World." You can order a copy here.