The jars themselves, with their contents, probably aren't worth more than 30 dollars. But when I look at them, I don't just see the beans themselves: I see curried red lentil soup, chick peas in broth with crisp bread crumbs, pasta fagioli, chili, white bean stew with dumplings. I see a dozen hearty, savory meals, right there at our fingertips. I see the means to make it through a week-long blizzard, if we ever have to, safe and well-fed. Those are not just seven jars of beans; those are seven jars of security.
Sometimes I think Jack in the fairy tale was perfectly sensible to trade away his old cow for a handful of beans. What could be a better investment than that?