Leon Lunden, research director of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Local 56, tells us that when Napoleon’s armies invaded Europe, his general discovered that an “army marches on its stomach” and that foraging for food wastes time. But when the armies tried to carry their food with them it spoiled.
Thus, in 1795, the French government offered a prize of 12,000 francs to any Frenchman who could find a way to preserve food. Alas, it wasn’t until 1810 that Nicholas Appert claimed the money. After years of experiment, he discovered the basic principle of modern canning. He put food into a glass jar, sealed it and then cooked it at a high temperature. The food remained edible after standing many days.