While grocery stores, convenience stores, vending machines, and fast food have all somewhat encroached on the traditional Amish diet, home-canning remains a staple. As gas freezers catch on in Amish settlements, freezing food is becoming a population method of preservation also. But a freezer only has so much space. A cellar, or in this case, even a small pantry, can keep enough food to last quite awhile. This is the canning pantry of an elderly Amish couple in St. Ignatius, Montana. These two don't eat a ton between them, so this will last quite awhile. The random placement of some items (like empty Pepsi bottles) is somewhat interesting. Some of that stuff - like the home canned peaches - just looks wonderful. Since it is St. Ignatius, Montana I can guarantee you some of what you are seeing is homemade huckleberry jam and juice. Yum!
Stacking jars with nothing in between is not safe. Leaving the bands on the jars in storage is not safe and could lead to a false seal -- if the seal pops and the band is on, no one will know and the jar could reseal itself and seal in bad germs! That canning closet scares me. It is not safe to can in gallon jars either -- it is a density issue..... Geesh! This is just bad canning.
Your points are well-taken, although I think for a lot of Amish canning is just a part of their life and you accept a little risk with it, even if, as you point out, it could be mitigated.....
There are no gallon jars in these pictures. I see only quarts, pints and jelly jars used. I use half gallon jars for tomatoes and juices. Nothing wrong with that. I see nothing unsafe in this canning closet. I have been canning for 50 years and have never had anyone sick from my canning. I also leave rings on some things, bfut not all, and it is not dangerous in my experience. I can everything from tomatoes to fruits and veggies to meats and fish. If something is spoiled, you are going to know it when you open it.
Thanks, Robin, for sharing your perspective!