Food Canning

Does canning pickles while on your period cause them to spoil?

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June 24, 2010 3:45PM

Pickling, while a scientific process, or at least one that can be explained scientifically, is an activity that is largely steeped in tradition. As with many traditions, there are things that are done, and things that are not done. The theory that canning pickles at the same time as menstruation causes spoilage is a wives tale. One told by old wives. Unfortunately, I doubt there has ever been a scientific examination of it. And, there may be some truth to it.

If this helps, my grandmother had seven daughters. She canned and set pickles every year from her early teens until the year before she died at 84. She was one of the best I've ever known (I truly miss her lime pickles--no one can duplicate them). In all the time she canned and pickled, she would not allow any female who was menstruating (daughters, nieces, granddaughters, neighbors, anyone) into her kitchen while she was pickling. She was adamant about this. The one time my mother allowed one of my sisters to help set pickles during my sister's period, half the batch of 50 jars clouded heavily and had to be disposed of.