What’s In the Jar?

Besides fruit, what is in Aunt Becky’s special jam? Love, obviously, and a few other ingredients.

There’s all kinds of talk, suggestions, chatter, and information, about what’s in our food. As a society, we are surrounded by discussion and suggestions about healthy eating and exercise, then bombarded with advertising for foods that aren’t so good for us. Our country is in a recession and opinions are divided over how to better the situation. This is definitely not a political debate or editorial on the matter, but it is relevant to jam.

Jam is not immune. Okay, I know, it’s jam. By definition, jam is loaded with sugar. So how can jam be “healthier” and why do we even care? Aunt Becky’s has a few basic goals besides making addicting jam.

Local Farms

berry barnlily farmorchard

First goal, support local farms. Farms are awesome! The farmers are always friendly, willing to swap recipes and suggestions and tell you where you’re most likely to find fruit if you waited too late in the season to pick raspberries. Plus, there’s just nothing more delicious than fresh fruit right off the tree or vine. The fruit I grow in my small backyard garden never makes it indoors. I eat it right there in the yard.

Grown or Made in America

Second goal, if a local product is not available, use a product that’s grown or made in America. Finding American-made products can be a little tricky, but it is possible.

Non GMO

Third, use non GMO (non genetically modified organisms) ingredients whenever possible.

Two of the main stars in Aunt Becky’s special jams, fruit butters, sauces and syrups are sugar and pectin.

Sugar

  • White sugar comes from two sources, sugar cane and sugar beets.
  • Over half the sugar produced in the US comes from genetically modified sugar beets. More than 95% of sugar beets grown in the US are genetically modified so they are immune to weed killers. The genetic modification allows farms to spray weed killers on weeds while keeping the sugar beets growing.
  • Sugar cane is more likely to be non GMO. The best way to ensure the sugar is non GMO is to buy organic.
  • There’s only one company in the US that grows and produces certified organic sugar. Florida Crystals is the US’ first fully integrated sugar company, which means they perform the whole process from sugar cane fields to table.
  • Aunt Becky’s special jams, fruit butters, sauces and syrups are made from Florida Crystals white and brown sugar.

Pectin

  • Pectin is used as a thickening agent in jams. Certain fruits, like apples, are naturally high in pectin. Pectin is most often made from fruit peels like apples and citrus fruits.
  • Aunt Becky’s jams are made from Pacific Pectin’s non GMO pectin.

Aunt Becky’s first goal remains, to make delectable products. But the search will continue for more ingredients that are locally grown or American-made and non GMO.

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