Food - Drink
Why The Ball Blue Book Is Controversial In The Canned Food World
By BRIANNA CORLEY
The “Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving Recipes” was written in the late 19th century by Frank C. and Edmund B. Ball, who also invented the famous Ball glass jars. The book is chock-full of recipes and tips for preserving foods, but the guide that introduced thousands of Americans to canning is now the subject of controversy.
In 2021, Iowa State University shocked the canning community when it revoked its endorsement for the “Ball Blue Book.” ISU stated that even in updated and revised editions, the book's 19th century-era instructions are not up to par with today's standards, noting that the recipes contain no testing data or exact measurements.
Using ingredients in the proper ratios is at the core of successful food preservation; plus, the ISU notes that the “Blue Book's” recipes are riddled with inaccurate and hard-to-follow explanations. Despite all this, outlets like The Spruce Eats still recommend the book as one of the best beginner-friendly canning manuals.