Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LDS Church Confirms Self-Canning To Be Ended At 89 Of Its 101 Home Storage Centers

On May 4th, 2013, I attempted to debunk the rumor that the FDA has ordered all LDS canneries east of the Mississippi to shut down, revealing that the LDS Church had merely eliminated self-canning at those Home Storage Centers. Nevertheless, the rumors persisted, and on June 18th, 2013, the Church issued a statement intended to be the last word on the subject.

In their statement, the LDS Church acknowledged that in all but 12 of the Church’s 101 Home Storage Centers in the U.S. and Canada, patrons will no longer self-can products, but they may still purchase these same items pre-canned or prepackaged at no additional cost. None of the 101 Home Storage Centers will be closed. Although the Church acknowledged that more stringent food safety regulations promulgated by the FDA are a factor, the primary reason for curtailing self-canning is efficiency:

While many individuals have enjoyed self-canning at the Church’s home storage centers, the advantages of providing pre-canned or prepackaged goods include:

-- It’s more efficient and cost effective for the Church to produce and ship high-quality, pre-canned or prepackaged goods in bulk rather than ship the same goods and empty cans to a location where individuals can them on their own.
-- By offering the goods pre-canned or prepackaged, the Church utilizes less warehouse space.
-- Pre-canned and prepackaged operations allow for higher quality and safer preparation of home storage food.
-- It is much more costly to maintain and upgrade facilities that must meet food production standards (such as in a self-canning operation) than it is to maintain a facility that simply distributes pre-canned and prepackaged food.
-- Volunteer personnel time can be used more efficiently.

The following 12 home storage centers will continue to offer self-canning for the time being as the Church continues to monitor the goods and services offered at home storage centers and makes adjustments as needed:

-- Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
-- Mesa, Arizona
-- Boise, Idaho
-- Idaho Falls, Idaho
-- Carrollton, Texas
-- Lindon, Utah
-- Logan, Utah
-- Ogden, Utah
-- Salt Lake City, Utah (Welfare Square)
-- Sandy, Utah
-- Springville, Utah
-- St. George, Utah

The remaining 89 centers, all listed HERE, will provide pre-canned goods. One reason why only the canneries in the western part of the U.S. and Canada will remain operational is because the concentration of Mormons (and pool of prospective volunteers) in much higher in this area than back East. Although non-Mormons use the facilities, the majority of users are Mormon.

In their story on this issue, KSL Channel 5 identified blogger Kellene Bishop as one of the primary bloggers pushing the original story. On June 18th, on her Preparednesspro website, Bishop responded to the LDS Church's new statement in this post, noting that it substantiated one aspect of the story that she originally published on May 4th; namely, that all canneries east of the Mississippi would stop canning activities. She said she contacted 25 different people connected with 14 different canneries before publishing her original story, and that all of them gave her similar information. Consequently, I'd say she engaged in adequate due diligence, and was not intending to exaggerate or hype the situation. Her explanation is plausible.

The issue continues to be discussed on the LDS Freedom Forum.

No comments: