Cooking | October 10, 2020 3:39 pm

Nation Experiences Pandemic-Fueled Mason Jar Shortage

When a lot more people are gardening and cooking, there are side effects

Mason jars
A trio of Mason jars.
Ella Olsson/Unsplash

For plenty of people across the United States, the pandemic has prompted a resurgence in cooking at home more and experimenting with food preparation in general. For a number of home cooks, that has ended up involving the purchase of plenty of Mason jars — some for cooking, some for storage and others for preservation. And that, in turn, has led to a nationwide Mason jar shortage.

It’s not the most unpleasant side effect of the pandemic by a long shot, but neither is it minor: cooking and canning for yourself can be both healthier for you and a good way to save money. A new report from CNN explores the shortage — both in terms of Mason jars and for the lids used in canning.

The article quotes one supply vendor as attributing the beginning of the shortage to August, when demand went up. As for why, there’s an interesting answer to that: the article posits that the supply shortage is a direct result of an uptick in quarantine-fueled gardening earlier this year.

Gardening, you may ask. Yes indeed. Discovering a host of newly-ripe fruits and vegetables may well prompt thoughts on how best to preserve the bulk of your harvest — questions nearly anyone who’s grown produce has had to contend with throughout history.

Manufacturers are aware of the shortage and are working to address it. Newell Brands, the company behind a host of canning supplies, provided a statement to CNN that addressed their own plans. “We have increased glass production, found additional lid manufacturers and expanded our pack out locations to replenish stock as quickly as possible,” the company said.

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