That is a question I have been pondering this week. Because I enjoy the process and results of canning food in jars and because I seem to be constantly rearranging to make room on the shelves for more, I began to wonder when I would have enough.
If I were canning for just myself I would probably concede that I have enough now to last me a couple of years, even with using it regularly as I do. But there is more to consider. For a number of years I have taken into consideration that because my oldest son is the one who does grocery and Farmer's Market runs for me and because he has hauled countless cases of jars up the stairs to my apartment, often refusing to let me pay, that my canning efforts would feed him as well as myself. And now that his girlfriend has joined our family and they live in my building, the food in jars is, of course, split three ways. That gives me maybe a years worth of canned food.
None of us knows what the future holds. The only thing I know for sure is that I now live in a more volatile world than I have ever before in my lifetime seen. There are riots in the streets over any number of causes, political and racial being the two most prominent. We have those who are supposed to be representing we the people, fighting amongst themselves worse than the Hatfields and McCoys. We have the occasional terrorist who tries to kill as many of us as possible for the glory of Allah. We have countries in the Middle East whose theme song seems to be "Death to America." And lest we forget, there is that crazy North Korean dictator who threatens on almost a weekly basis to nuke us to smithereens or at the very least, nuke our electric grid out of existence. And we haven't even talked about the natural disasters that could occur.
So all of that being said, when do I have enough food in jars to stop canning. Do I stop when there is enough to feed three people for a year? Or do I think ahead to the possibility of other family members knocking on my door when their food supply is gone. I am not saying this will happen, but what if it did.
Someone once looked at my well stocked shelves and asked me, in all seriousness, what in the world I was going to do with all that food, should nothing bad ever happen. I said I didn't know. Maybe I would just..........eat it.
To answer my own question about when do you have enough food stored, I think that "never" is likely correct. Especially for those of us who live where we can not raise our own fruit and vegetables and livestock. Eventually, no matter what our best efforts are, the food will run out. But having a couple of years of food stocked, we have given ourselves time to plan and carry out the next move should it be necessary. It is good to have options.