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Let s Get Ready to Preserve

Let s Get Ready to Preserve

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Let s Get Ready to Preserve

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    1. Lets Get Ready to Preserve! Welcome to the first in a series of Wisline programs on home food preservation. Today we will talk about the basics of food preservation as we get set for a season of home canning, freezing or dehydrating. Then, in upcoming programs we will look into specific methods for canning green beans, making jam and jelly, and other topics. Before we get started, lets see who is joining us today. (Roll call) Thanks to everyone for joining us today. Todays program may be slightly longer than other programs in this series so that we can cover all the basics. I have tried to save time for questions throughout, and extra time at the end for you to share your ideas, questions and concerns. So.lets get started. Welcome to the first in a series of Wisline programs on home food preservation. Today we will talk about the basics of food preservation as we get set for a season of home canning, freezing or dehydrating. Then, in upcoming programs we will look into specific methods for canning green beans, making jam and jelly, and other topics. Before we get started, lets see who is joining us today. (Roll call) Thanks to everyone for joining us today. Todays program may be slightly longer than other programs in this series so that we can cover all the basics. I have tried to save time for questions throughout, and extra time at the end for you to share your ideas, questions and concerns. So.lets get started.

    2. Todays topics: Why preserve foods? What are the basic food preservation guidelines? What resources are available to help you get started on a successful food preservation season?

    3. Take a minute to consider. Why do we preserve foods? Think back to your first experience with home canning, freezing or drying of foods. Maybe you were very young when you first helped grandma start a crock of genuine dill pickles. Or maybe you remember helping your mother or father freeze strawberries and green beans for the winter. Or perhaps it was only a few years ago when you started preserving food at home. Take a few seconds to consider why you decided to start preserving food at home, or why this is part of your family tradition. Share one of these ideas with anyone listening in with you today before we move on. (30-60 seconds) Think back to your first experience with home canning, freezing or drying of foods. Maybe you were very young when you first helped grandma start a crock of genuine dill pickles. Or maybe you remember helping your mother or father freeze strawberries and green beans for the winter. Or perhaps it was only a few years ago when you started preserving food at home. Take a few seconds to consider why you decided to start preserving food at home, or why this is part of your family tradition. Share one of these ideas with anyone listening in with you today before we move on. (30-60 seconds)

    4. Why Preserve Foods? Increase the shelf life of food. Provide convenience. Retain the nutritional value. Improve how food tastes. And because its fun! Now that youve had a chance to think about this question. Let me share some answers to this question that I came up with. Increase the shelf life of food: raw meat can be safely stored in the refrigerator for just 3-5 days, but put that same meat in a jar and process it in a pressure canner and youll have meat that will remain safe for many years. Provide convenience: spending some time this summer freezing, canning or drying food will be worth the effort when, come December, you can make a pot of delicious soup by opening a few jars of your home canned produce. Retain the nutritional value: if you take care to process food soon after harvest, they will end up being more nutritious than foods that you buy in the store, especially if you buy those foods out of season. And sometimes preserving food is important if you are worried about what might be in your food, like pesticide residues, or allergenic compounds. Improve how food tastes: the blending of flavors that takes place as we preserve food can increase their palatability. We all know 5 and 6 year olds who refuse to eat tomatoes but who love to eat ketchup. And because its fun! For many families preserving foods at home is a tradition that is shared from generation to generation. The satisfaction of providing for yourself and your family can be well worth the work that you put into preserving foods at home. What other ideas did you have?Now that youve had a chance to think about this question. Let me share some answers to this question that I came up with. Increase the shelf life of food: raw meat can be safely stored in the refrigerator for just 3-5 days, but put that same meat in a jar and process it in a pressure canner and youll have meat that will remain safe for many years. Provide convenience: spending some time this summer freezing, canning or drying food will be worth the effort when, come December, you can make a pot of delicious soup by opening a few jars of your home canned produce. Retain the nutritional value: if you take care to process food soon after harvest, they will end up being more nutritious than foods that you buy in the store, especially if you buy those foods out of season. And sometimes preserving food is important if you are worried about what might be in your food, like pesticide residues, or allergenic compounds. Improve how food tastes: the blending of flavors that takes place as we preserve food can increase their palatability. We all know 5 and 6 year olds who refuse to eat tomatoes but who love to eat ketchup. And because its fun! For many families preserving foods at home is a tradition that is shared from generation to generation. The satisfaction of providing for yourself and your family can be well worth the work that you put into preserving foods at home. What other ideas did you have?

    5. Canning, Freezing and Drying Which method will you choose? Our aim: safe, high quality food. There are 3 main methods of food preservation: canning, freezing and drying. The method you choose will depend on whether there are safe guidelines for preserving your food using that method; and which method best suits your needs. For instance, you may want to can a new salsa recipe, but if there are no safe guidelines for doing so, you may end up freezing the product instead. Or, if you have a bounty of delicious strawberries from your garden, you might consider canning strawberry jam, or freezing the berries as is but not drying, because drying strawberries results in a poor quality product. Canning, freezing and drying, if done correctly, can help you store safe, high quality food for later use. There are 3 main methods of food preservation: canning, freezing and drying. The method you choose will depend on whether there are safe guidelines for preserving your food using that method; and which method best suits your needs. For instance, you may want to can a new salsa recipe, but if there are no safe guidelines for doing so, you may end up freezing the product instead. Or, if you have a bounty of delicious strawberries from your garden, you might consider canning strawberry jam, or freezing the berries as is but not drying, because drying strawberries results in a poor quality product. Canning, freezing and drying, if done correctly, can help you store safe, high quality food for later use.

    6. Fight Food Spoilage Prevent mold, yeast and bacteria from growing on your food Prevent bruising and wilting Prevent changes in flavor and texture Unless food is preserved in some manner, it begins to spoil soon after harvest or slaughter. Spoilage can be caused by growing microorganisms, by physical changes such as bruising and wilting, and by enzymes that act to change flavor, texture and color of foods. Spoilage due to microorganisms can be the result of mold, yeast or bacterial contamination. Its important to prevent food spoilage if we want to preserve food for as long as possible.Unless food is preserved in some manner, it begins to spoil soon after harvest or slaughter. Spoilage can be caused by growing microorganisms, by physical changes such as bruising and wilting, and by enzymes that act to change flavor, texture and color of foods. Spoilage due to microorganisms can be the result of mold, yeast or bacterial contamination. Its important to prevent food spoilage if we want to preserve food for as long as possible.

    7. Microbial Spoilage Food Acidity Time Temp Oxygen Moisture Lets briefly review the 6 factors that affect the growth of microorganisms- bacteria, yeast and mold. An easy way to remember these 6 factors is to think of the Thanksgiving turkey: FAT TOM. Lets briefly review the 6 factors that affect the growth of microorganisms- bacteria, yeast and mold. An easy way to remember these 6 factors is to think of the Thanksgiving turkey: FAT TOM.

    8. The 6 factors which influence microbial growth are: Food- in general, microorganisms prefer a rich food source. Green beans growing in the garden, ground hamburger, and even jams and jellies can provide the nutrients needed for microorganisms to grow. Acid- the amount of acid in a food is very important. Some foods, fruits for instance, are naturally high in acid. Many other foods, meat and vegetables for instance, are low in acid. Foods that are low in acid like green beans and meat must be canned at high temperatures to prevent botulism poisoning. Time & Temperature- time and temperature work together. First, consider temperature. Both refrigerators and freezers help preserve food using low temperatures to stop, or slow, microbial growth and enzyme reactions. The heat used in canning, blanching and pasteurization can destroy microbes, stop enzymes, and ensure safety. Molds and yeast are killed with relatively low temperatures, while some bacteria or spores may survive unless very high heat is used. Time works with temperature. Food can be safely stored for a long period of time, as long as the temperature is low. To think about time and heat working together, think about cooking meat. A tougher cut of meat you might cook at a low temperature (325 degrees F) for a long period of time. A tender cut of meat, you might cook at a high temperature (475 degrees) for a short period of time. Both cuts of meat will end up cooked (and safe to heat) but in one case we use a low temperature and cook for a long time; in the other case we use a high temperature and cook for a short time. In the same way, time and temperature work together in heating processes like canning. The 6 factors which influence microbial growth are: Food- in general, microorganisms prefer a rich food source. Green beans growing in the garden, ground hamburger, and even jams and jellies can provide the nutrients needed for microorganisms to grow. Acid- the amount of acid in a food is very important. Some foods, fruits for instance, are naturally high in acid. Many other foods, meat and vegetables for instance, are low in acid. Foods that are low in acid like green beans and meat must be canned at high temperatures to prevent botulism poisoning. Time & Temperature- time and temperature work together. First, consider temperature. Both refrigerators and freezers help preserve food using low temperatures to stop, or slow, microbial growth and enzyme reactions. The heat used in canning, blanching and pasteurization can destroy microbes, stop enzymes, and ensure safety. Molds and yeast are killed with relatively low temperatures, while some bacteria or spores may survive unless very high heat is used. Time works with temperature. Food can be safely stored for a long period of time, as long as the temperature is low. To think about time and heat working together, think about cooking meat. A tougher cut of meat you might cook at a low temperature (325 degrees F) for a long period of time. A tender cut of meat, you might cook at a high temperature (475 degrees) for a short period of time. Both cuts of meat will end up cooked (and safe to heat) but in one case we use a low temperature and cook for a long time; in the other case we use a high temperature and cook for a short time. In the same way, time and temperature work together in heating processes like canning.

    9. Oxygen- oxygen is important for many living things. Yeast and mold must have oxygen to live, and many bacteria also need oxygen. If we remove oxygen, or air, these foods will not spoil as quickly. But there are also some bacteria that survive and grow in an environment without oxygen. One such bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, is responsible for the deadly botulism poisoning. This bacterium can not make a toxin if it is exposed to air; but put the spores of this bacteria in jar or a can of low-acid food, and the toxin just might develop. Moisture- bacteria, yeast and mold all need water to grow. Water is also required for enzyme activity. If we remove water by drying food, then it will not spoil as easily. We can also make water unavailable for microbial growth and chemical reactions by adding a lot of sugar or salt- as when we make jam and jelly or prepare salted fish.Oxygen- oxygen is important for many living things. Yeast and mold must have oxygen to live, and many bacteria also need oxygen. If we remove oxygen, or air, these foods will not spoil as quickly. But there are also some bacteria that survive and grow in an environment without oxygen. One such bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, is responsible for the deadly botulism poisoning. This bacterium can not make a toxin if it is exposed to air; but put the spores of this bacteria in jar or a can of low-acid food, and the toxin just might develop. Moisture- bacteria, yeast and mold all need water to grow. Water is also required for enzyme activity. If we remove water by drying food, then it will not spoil as easily. We can also make water unavailable for microbial growth and chemical reactions by adding a lot of sugar or salt- as when we make jam and jelly or prepare salted fish.

    10. Controlling Microbes Its easy to see how we can use these 6 factors (food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture) to help preserve our food. Whether we add acid to food or we allow natural fermentation, Whether we use heat or cold temperatures, Whether we remove or limit oxygen, or Whether we dry food, or add sugar or salt to bind moisture our basic purpose is to control the growth of microorganisms so that we prevent food from spoiling. Its easy to see how we can use these 6 factors (food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture) to help preserve our food. Whether we add acid to food or we allow natural fermentation, Whether we use heat or cold temperatures, Whether we remove or limit oxygen, or Whether we dry food, or add sugar or salt to bind moisture our basic purpose is to control the growth of microorganisms so that we prevent food from spoiling.

    11. Question time?? Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.

    12. Food Preservation Canning- foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microbes and inactivates enzymes. Pickling- foods are fermented or acid is added for preservation Jams and Jellies- high sugar content binds moisture Freezing-used cold temperatures to preserve food Drying- removes moisture to stop microbial growth Lets next turn our attention to how food preservation actually works. There are 5 main methods of food preservation. These are: Canning- In canning, foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microbes and inactivates enzymes. The process also removes the air from the container, forming a vacuum seal. The vacuum seal, known as a hermetic seal, prevents microbes from re-contaminating the food inside the jar or can. Removing oxygen also prevents deterioration of color and flavor. Pickling- In pickling, acid is produced in foods via fermentation, or acid in the form of vinegar is added to food. The increased acid makes it difficult for microbes to survive and grow. The actual amount of acid is critical to ensure safety. Pickles that are to be stored in jars on the shelf are heated in boiling water to destroy yeast and mold and to form a vacuum seal on the jar. Jams and Jellies- These foods have a very high sugar content. The sugar binds with water, making it difficult for microbes to grow. To further stabilize the product, jams and jellies are either canned, frozen or refrigerated. Freezing- Freezing reduces the temperature of food so that microbes can not grow. But that doesnt mean that frozen food is sterile. Microorganisms do survive the freezing process. So its important to thaw frozen food carefully. Drying- Drying removes most of the moisture from food. Microbes need moisture to grow, so removing water stops microbial growth. Once foods are dried, they must be stored in airtight containers to prevent moisture from re-hydrating the product. In this series of programs, we will look at each of these methods of food preservation in greater detail. Lets next turn our attention to how food preservation actually works. There are 5 main methods of food preservation. These are: Canning- In canning, foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microbes and inactivates enzymes. The process also removes the air from the container, forming a vacuum seal. The vacuum seal, known as a hermetic seal, prevents microbes from re-contaminating the food inside the jar or can. Removing oxygen also prevents deterioration of color and flavor. Pickling- In pickling, acid is produced in foods via fermentation, or acid in the form of vinegar is added to food. The increased acid makes it difficult for microbes to survive and grow. The actual amount of acid is critical to ensure safety. Pickles that are to be stored in jars on the shelf are heated in boiling water to destroy yeast and mold and to form a vacuum seal on the jar. Jams and Jellies- These foods have a very high sugar content. The sugar binds with water, making it difficult for microbes to grow. To further stabilize the product, jams and jellies are either canned, frozen or refrigerated. Freezing- Freezing reduces the temperature of food so that microbes can not grow. But that doesnt mean that frozen food is sterile. Microorganisms do survive the freezing process. So its important to thaw frozen food carefully. Drying- Drying removes most of the moisture from food. Microbes need moisture to grow, so removing water stops microbial growth. Once foods are dried, they must be stored in airtight containers to prevent moisture from re-hydrating the product. In this series of programs, we will look at each of these methods of food preservation in greater detail.

    13. A word about canning Spores of Clostridium botulinum are naturally found in soil Botulism toxin can be produced in low-acid canned food that is not properly heated Low-acid foods include vegetables, meat, cheese, tomatoes A word about canning.before we leave this topic (for now). Many of us remember hearing talk of botulism poisoning and we know that this deadly illness is associated with canned food. The bacteria responsible for botulism poisoning is Clostridium botulinum. Spores, somewhat like seeds, of this bacteria are naturally found in the environment, especially the soil. If the spores are placed in a jar or can of low-acid food, and oxygen is removed, then botulism toxin can be produced. Low-acid foods include vegetables (corn, green beans), meat, cheese and tomatoes. (Foods with pH > 4.6). So, it is VERY important when canning low-acid foods to follow research-tested recipes. You would think that we could prevent botulism poisoning simply by washing all our vegetables, or meat, carefully before canning to remove the botulinum spores, but this wont work. So, we when we can low-acid food, we have to plan to destroy all the spores of Clostridium botulinum that might be there. That is why we must pressure can these foods (like green beans and corn) at high temperatures. A word about canning.before we leave this topic (for now). Many of us remember hearing talk of botulism poisoning and we know that this deadly illness is associated with canned food. The bacteria responsible for botulism poisoning is Clostridium botulinum. Spores, somewhat like seeds, of this bacteria are naturally found in the environment, especially the soil. If the spores are placed in a jar or can of low-acid food, and oxygen is removed, then botulism toxin can be produced. Low-acid foods include vegetables (corn, green beans), meat, cheese and tomatoes. (Foods with pH > 4.6). So, it is VERY important when canning low-acid foods to follow research-tested recipes. You would think that we could prevent botulism poisoning simply by washing all our vegetables, or meat, carefully before canning to remove the botulinum spores, but this wont work. So, we when we can low-acid food, we have to plan to destroy all the spores of Clostridium botulinum that might be there. That is why we must pressure can these foods (like green beans and corn) at high temperatures.

    14. More About Canning 1 Low-acid food + 1 Water Bath Canner UNSAFE 1 Low-acid food + 1 Pressure Canner SAFE! So, lets think of two different situations: In one, you have a low-acid food such as green beans that you are canning in a boiling water or water-bath canner. (Maybe this is how your neighbor or your grandmother cans green beans.) Even if you heat these green beans in the jar for 6 hours, you cant guarantee that they are safe to eat. (Thats how tough the botulism spores are.) So, in order to ensure safety all low-acid foods have to be canned in a pressure canner. A pressure canner reaches high temperatures as the pressure rises. Boiling water is at 212 degrees F, but that same water in a pressure canner will boil at 240 degrees F or 250 degrees F. So by canning our green beans under high temperature in a pressure canner, we will be have a shorter process (about 30 minutes) and a safe product too!So, lets think of two different situations: In one, you have a low-acid food such as green beans that you are canning in a boiling water or water-bath canner. (Maybe this is how your neighbor or your grandmother cans green beans.) Even if you heat these green beans in the jar for 6 hours, you cant guarantee that they are safe to eat. (Thats how tough the botulism spores are.) So, in order to ensure safety all low-acid foods have to be canned in a pressure canner. A pressure canner reaches high temperatures as the pressure rises. Boiling water is at 212 degrees F, but that same water in a pressure canner will boil at 240 degrees F or 250 degrees F. So by canning our green beans under high temperature in a pressure canner, we will be have a shorter process (about 30 minutes) and a safe product too!

    15. Question time?? Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.

    16. A Survey of Home Canning 27% reported home canning in 1999 48% got recipes from friends or relatives 67% used recipes as is; 29% adapted 71% canned veggies, 60% tomatoes, 47% fruit Some respondents are at high risk for illness So how are we doing, in terms of our home canning and freezing practices? The National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia conducted a survey with 500 households nationwide in 2000. Here are the results: 27% reported home canning in 1999 48% obtained canning instructions from friends or relatives; 19% consulted cookbooks 67% used home canning instructions as is; while 29% adapted them for use 71% canned vegetables; 60% canned tomatoes/tomato products; 47% canned fruit The USDA recommends using a pressure canner for processing vegetables other than tomatoes, as well as for processing other low-acid foods such as meat. 30% canned vegetables in a pressure canner 29% used a pressure cooker 39% used boiling water or water bath canner 15% used the open-kettle method 3% used the oven for canning The result: There is PLENTY of room for improvement!! So how are we doing, in terms of our home canning and freezing practices? The National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia conducted a survey with 500 households nationwide in 2000. Here are the results: 27% reported home canning in 1999 48% obtained canning instructions from friends or relatives; 19% consulted cookbooks 67% used home canning instructions as is; while 29% adapted them for use 71% canned vegetables; 60% canned tomatoes/tomato products; 47% canned fruit The USDA recommends using a pressure canner for processing vegetables other than tomatoes, as well as for processing other low-acid foods such as meat. 30% canned vegetables in a pressure canner 29% used a pressure cooker 39% used boiling water or water bath canner 15% used the open-kettle method 3% used the oven for canning The result: There is PLENTY of room for improvement!!

    17. STOP dont harm your family with these canning methods BWC low-acid food Open-kettle canning Oven canning Some home canning practices to avoid at ALL COSTS: Do not use a boiling water canner for low-acid foods. Always use a pressure canner for low-acid foods. You risk botulism poisoning if you do not. Never open-kettle can foods. Open-kettle canning is when you place hot food in hot, clean jars and seal, with no further processing. Open kettle canning is NOT acceptable for any type of foods: fruits, tomatoes, or vegetables. With open kettle canning you risk spoilage or even food poisoning. Never oven can foods. Oven canning is when you place canning jars with food such as meat in the oven, heat the jars for a period of time, remove the jars and seal. The jars are likely to break, and the food is not heated sufficient to ensure safety. Heres an easy way to explain why oven canning does not ensure safety. Think of the last time you had your oven heated to 375 degrees F. You can open the oven door, and place your hand in the oven and, as long as you dont touch anything, you can leave your hand there a few seconds. But, consider holding your hand over a kettle of boiling water. The boiling water is at 212 degrees F, 163 degrees cooler than the oven, and yet your hand is instantly burned by the steam. Sowe can say that dry heat (like an oven) does not act in the same way as moist heat (steam). In home canning we use steam in a pressure canner, or boiling water in a BWC to create the heat needed to ensure safe food.Some home canning practices to avoid at ALL COSTS: Do not use a boiling water canner for low-acid foods. Always use a pressure canner for low-acid foods. You risk botulism poisoning if you do not. Never open-kettle can foods. Open-kettle canning is when you place hot food in hot, clean jars and seal, with no further processing. Open kettle canning is NOT acceptable for any type of foods: fruits, tomatoes, or vegetables. With open kettle canning you risk spoilage or even food poisoning. Never oven can foods. Oven canning is when you place canning jars with food such as meat in the oven, heat the jars for a period of time, remove the jars and seal. The jars are likely to break, and the food is not heated sufficient to ensure safety. Heres an easy way to explain why oven canning does not ensure safety. Think of the last time you had your oven heated to 375 degrees F. You can open the oven door, and place your hand in the oven and, as long as you dont touch anything, you can leave your hand there a few seconds. But, consider holding your hand over a kettle of boiling water. The boiling water is at 212 degrees F, 163 degrees cooler than the oven, and yet your hand is instantly burned by the steam. Sowe can say that dry heat (like an oven) does not act in the same way as moist heat (steam). In home canning we use steam in a pressure canner, or boiling water in a BWC to create the heat needed to ensure safe food.

    18. And now a word aboutcanners vs cookers Pressure canners and pressure cooker are NOT necessarily the same thing. Pressure cookers are NOT recommended for home canning. Pressure canners are not necessarily the same thing as pressure cookers. Small pressure cookers or pressure saucepans are used to rapidly cook meats, vegetables and other foods for a family meal. But they may not maintain adequate pressure, and they heat and cool too quickly to use them to safely pressure can foods. Pressure canners have either dial or weighted gauges. Pressure canners are necessary to safely can foods such as meats and vegetables that are low in acid. Pressure canners and pressure saucepans come in a wide variety of sizes. Pressure canners may hold up to 22 Quarts of canned food, and are able to process food at pressures up to 25 pounds of pressure. Some popular brands of pressure canners are Mirro, Presto, and All American. Pressure cookers usually hold no more than 4 to 6 Quarts, and they may, or may not, have a way to regulate the pressure. Some pressure cookers come equipped with a weight to cook at 5, 10 or 15 pounds of pressure, while others have no way to regulate pressure settings, or simply have settings of low, medium and high. Pressure cookers are not recommended for home canning.Pressure canners are not necessarily the same thing as pressure cookers. Small pressure cookers or pressure saucepans are used to rapidly cook meats, vegetables and other foods for a family meal. But they may not maintain adequate pressure, and they heat and cool too quickly to use them to safely pressure can foods. Pressure canners have either dial or weighted gauges. Pressure canners are necessary to safely can foods such as meats and vegetables that are low in acid. Pressure canners and pressure saucepans come in a wide variety of sizes. Pressure canners may hold up to 22 Quarts of canned food, and are able to process food at pressures up to 25 pounds of pressure. Some popular brands of pressure canners are Mirro, Presto, and All American. Pressure cookers usually hold no more than 4 to 6 Quarts, and they may, or may not, have a way to regulate the pressure. Some pressure cookers come equipped with a weight to cook at 5, 10 or 15 pounds of pressure, while others have no way to regulate pressure settings, or simply have settings of low, medium and high. Pressure cookers are not recommended for home canning.

    19. Question time?? Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.

    20. Will preserving food at home save you money? The method of food preservation that you choose will depend on a number of things: the tested recipes that are available, the type of equipment that you have, and the quality of the resulting product, but the choice is yours to make. Will preserving food at home save you money? What do you think? Many people have home gardens with an ample supple of fresh fruits and vegetables, or they have a ready supply of meat or wild game. Preserving this food can be a real boost to your familys food budget. If you dont have a ready supply of fresh food, then you will have to consider the purchase of food as one of the costs in food preservation. The equipment that you will need for food preservation can be an investment. Many people choose to have on hand a pressure canner, a water bath canner, and jars and lids of various sizes. If you like to freeze large quantities of foods, then you many need to have a special freezer on hand. And for drying foods at home, youll want to have a dehydrator on hand. Sometimes you can find the equipment that you need at garage sales. You need to check all canners and jars carefully before you use them, but garage sale purchases can certainly be helpful. Regardless, for home canning you will need to buy new lids every year. The screw bands for the 2-piece lids can be reused (as long as they arent terribly rusted) but you must purchase new jar lids each year. And then, of course, there is the cost of utilities like gas, electricity and water, and your time. But even if home food preservation doesnt save you a lot of money, for many people the satisfaction of preserving your own food is definitely worth it! The method of food preservation that you choose will depend on a number of things: the tested recipes that are available, the type of equipment that you have, and the quality of the resulting product, but the choice is yours to make. Will preserving food at home save you money? What do you think? Many people have home gardens with an ample supple of fresh fruits and vegetables, or they have a ready supply of meat or wild game. Preserving this food can be a real boost to your familys food budget. If you dont have a ready supply of fresh food, then you will have to consider the purchase of food as one of the costs in food preservation. The equipment that you will need for food preservation can be an investment. Many people choose to have on hand a pressure canner, a water bath canner, and jars and lids of various sizes. If you like to freeze large quantities of foods, then you many need to have a special freezer on hand. And for drying foods at home, youll want to have a dehydrator on hand. Sometimes you can find the equipment that you need at garage sales. You need to check all canners and jars carefully before you use them, but garage sale purchases can certainly be helpful. Regardless, for home canning you will need to buy new lids every year. The screw bands for the 2-piece lids can be reused (as long as they arent terribly rusted) but you must purchase new jar lids each year. And then, of course, there is the cost of utilities like gas, electricity and water, and your time. But even if home food preservation doesnt save you a lot of money, for many people the satisfaction of preserving your own food is definitely worth it!

    21. Getting StartedEquipment Assemble BW and pressure canners Check dial gauges and rubber gaskets Inspect jars & lids Purchase freezer containers Clean your dehydrator Now is the time of year to check your equipment to see that you have everything that you will need for a successful food preservation season. If you can both high- and low-acid foods, then you will need at least a pressure canner, and most people have a boiling water canner too. Your canner must be fitted with a rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the canner. Any large pot with a tight-fitting lid and rack can serve as a BW canner. Pressure canners come in 2 types, dial gauge and weighted gauge canners. Dial gauges must be checked every year for accuracy. Your county extension office can help you with this. Now is a good time to check your gauge, before green beans and corn are ready for processing. Check the rubber gasket on your pressure canner too , and replace it if necessary. Inspect your supply of jars and lids. Home canning jars should be free of cracks, scratches and nicks. Replace jars that are damaged. And be sure to use only appropriate home canning jars. For pressure canning you MUST use standard home canning jars, like Mason or Ball jars. For BW canning, you CAN use mayo or spaghetti sauce jars, as long as they take a standard 2-piece lid. Because the sealing compound will deteriorate, you will want to purchase new lids every season. Dont try to use last years lids, as they may not seal. If you plan to freeze produce, clean our your freezer to make room for this years supply. Produce that was frozen last year will be lower in quality and have less nutritional value than fresh produce. Plan to use up last years frozen food, or compost fruits and vegetables that you can not consume before this years crop is ready. Purchase containers that you will use to store frozen foods. Bring your dehydrator out of storage, and give it a thorough cleaning so you are ready for the season. Please refer to the handout: Food Preservation Resources for information on where to obtain food preservation equipment.Now is the time of year to check your equipment to see that you have everything that you will need for a successful food preservation season. If you can both high- and low-acid foods, then you will need at least a pressure canner, and most people have a boiling water canner too. Your canner must be fitted with a rack to hold the jars off the bottom of the canner. Any large pot with a tight-fitting lid and rack can serve as a BW canner. Pressure canners come in 2 types, dial gauge and weighted gauge canners. Dial gauges must be checked every year for accuracy. Your county extension office can help you with this. Now is a good time to check your gauge, before green beans and corn are ready for processing. Check the rubber gasket on your pressure canner too , and replace it if necessary. Inspect your supply of jars and lids. Home canning jars should be free of cracks, scratches and nicks. Replace jars that are damaged. And be sure to use only appropriate home canning jars. For pressure canning you MUST use standard home canning jars, like Mason or Ball jars. For BW canning, you CAN use mayo or spaghetti sauce jars, as long as they take a standard 2-piece lid. Because the sealing compound will deteriorate, you will want to purchase new lids every season. Dont try to use last years lids, as they may not seal. If you plan to freeze produce, clean our your freezer to make room for this years supply. Produce that was frozen last year will be lower in quality and have less nutritional value than fresh produce. Plan to use up last years frozen food, or compost fruits and vegetables that you can not consume before this years crop is ready. Purchase containers that you will use to store frozen foods. Bring your dehydrator out of storage, and give it a thorough cleaning so you are ready for the season. Please refer to the handout: Food Preservation Resources for information on where to obtain food preservation equipment.

    22. Getting StartedProduce Harvest at the proper stage of maturity Discard diseased produce Rapidly chill harvested produce Always start with high quality produce. If you have your own garden, pick produce at the proper stage of maturity. Dont pick under-ripe fruit or immature vegetables, unless your recipe calls for those. The quality of fruits and vegetables dont improve after harvest. Its better to hold some fruits of a day or 2 in the refrigerator as you wait for other fruits to ripen, rather than picking fruit that isnt ready yet. The same holds for vegetables that are not yet mature. Carefully inspect all fruits and vegetables, and discard those that are obviously diseased. Small blemishes can be trimmed away, but it may be unsafe to can diseased produce. Once harvested, fruits and vegetables should be chilled as soon as possible to avoid deterioration in quality. And most produce should be washed before chilling. Harvest produce early in the day. If you shop at a farm market for produce, do your shopping early and then return home to chill or process the produce that you selected. The yield charts from the University of Georgia are a handy reference for home food preservers. Always start with high quality produce. If you have your own garden, pick produce at the proper stage of maturity. Dont pick under-ripe fruit or immature vegetables, unless your recipe calls for those. The quality of fruits and vegetables dont improve after harvest. Its better to hold some fruits of a day or 2 in the refrigerator as you wait for other fruits to ripen, rather than picking fruit that isnt ready yet. The same holds for vegetables that are not yet mature. Carefully inspect all fruits and vegetables, and discard those that are obviously diseased. Small blemishes can be trimmed away, but it may be unsafe to can diseased produce. Once harvested, fruits and vegetables should be chilled as soon as possible to avoid deterioration in quality. And most produce should be washed before chilling. Harvest produce early in the day. If you shop at a farm market for produce, do your shopping early and then return home to chill or process the produce that you selected. The yield charts from the University of Georgia are a handy reference for home food preservers.

    23. Getting StartedRecipes Use ONLY research-tested recipes! Depending on the method of home food preservation that you choose, you may have a variety of recipes to choose from, or your choices may be limited. Depending on the method of home food preservation that you choose, you may have a variety of recipes to choose from, or your choices may be limited.

    24. Sources of Recipes for Home Canning Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation series Ball Blue Book (1997) So Easy to Preserve (1999) USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning (1994) There are several acceptable sources of acceptable recipes for home canning. These include: 8 publications in the Wisconsin Safe Food Publication series: Freezing Fruits and Vegetables B3278; Canning Vegetables Safely B1159; Canning Fruits Safely B0430; Homemade Jams, Jellies and Fruit Preserves B2909; Tomatoes Tart and Tasty B2605; Canning Salsa Safely B3570; Homemade Pickles and Relishes B2267; and Canning Meat, Wild Game, Poultry and Fish Safely B3345. These 8 bulletins are available on-line or through your county extension office and are the source for approved recipes in Wisconsin. Please check that you are using bulletins dated 1998 or later. The newer publications are printed in a smaller 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 format. Older versions may not contain acceptable food preservation information. Other resources include, the Ball Blue Book (1997 edition or later). Some of these recipes will need to be adjusted for Wisconsins elevations. So Easy to Preserve (1999 edition). This book from the University of Georgia is a wonderful source of tested recipes. Each county office should have one copy. If you do not have a copy, please let me know and I will send you one. Copies are also available for $15 each from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 1994 edition. This publication is rather cumbersome to read, but I do have extra copies available if you do not have one in your office. As we talk about specific commodities in this series, i.e. pickles, jams and jellies, and so forth, I will mention other resources that might be nice to have. Please refer to the handout as a guide to web-based materials.There are several acceptable sources of acceptable recipes for home canning. These include: 8 publications in the Wisconsin Safe Food Publication series: Freezing Fruits and Vegetables B3278; Canning Vegetables Safely B1159; Canning Fruits Safely B0430; Homemade Jams, Jellies and Fruit Preserves B2909; Tomatoes Tart and Tasty B2605; Canning Salsa Safely B3570; Homemade Pickles and Relishes B2267; and Canning Meat, Wild Game, Poultry and Fish Safely B3345. These 8 bulletins are available on-line or through your county extension office and are the source for approved recipes in Wisconsin. Please check that you are using bulletins dated 1998 or later. The newer publications are printed in a smaller 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 format. Older versions may not contain acceptable food preservation information. Other resources include, the Ball Blue Book (1997 edition or later). Some of these recipes will need to be adjusted for Wisconsins elevations. So Easy to Preserve (1999 edition). This book from the University of Georgia is a wonderful source of tested recipes. Each county office should have one copy. If you do not have a copy, please let me know and I will send you one. Copies are also available for $15 each from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 1994 edition. This publication is rather cumbersome to read, but I do have extra copies available if you do not have one in your office. As we talk about specific commodities in this series, i.e. pickles, jams and jellies, and so forth, I will mention other resources that might be nice to have. Please refer to the handout as a guide to web-based materials.

    25. Leave the creativity behind when home canning! Leave the creativity behind when home canning! Dont experiment with your health and that of your family. Be sure that you: Use recipes as they are written, dont adapt . Changing the amount of sugar and salt is sometimes OK, but making other changes is generally not alright. As we talk about specific recipes later this summer, I will make sure to mention if any modifications are safe. For instance, it generally isnt OK to add more onion or celery than is called for; it isnt OK to add butter or flour if it isnt called for; and it isnt OK to use a larger jar and guess on the processing time. It also isnt OK to leave a critical ingredient like acid out of canned tomatoes. Follow current recipes. Research published in 1994 indicated that some canning procedures were no longer safe. For instance, before 1994 it appeared to be safe to can tomatoes without added acid, but we now know that this isnt true. So, if your canning recipes pre-date 1994, be sure to order new publications. Call for help BEFORE canning, not after. If you arent sure if you are following a safe method, call your county extension office before you start, not while you are waiting for the jars to cool.Leave the creativity behind when home canning! Dont experiment with your health and that of your family. Be sure that you: Use recipes as they are written, dont adapt . Changing the amount of sugar and salt is sometimes OK, but making other changes is generally not alright. As we talk about specific recipes later this summer, I will make sure to mention if any modifications are safe. For instance, it generally isnt OK to add more onion or celery than is called for; it isnt OK to add butter or flour if it isnt called for; and it isnt OK to use a larger jar and guess on the processing time. It also isnt OK to leave a critical ingredient like acid out of canned tomatoes. Follow current recipes. Research published in 1994 indicated that some canning procedures were no longer safe. For instance, before 1994 it appeared to be safe to can tomatoes without added acid, but we now know that this isnt true. So, if your canning recipes pre-date 1994, be sure to order new publications. Call for help BEFORE canning, not after. If you arent sure if you are following a safe method, call your county extension office before you start, not while you are waiting for the jars to cool.

    26. Getting StartedResources Safe food preservation requires careful planning: Proper equipment that is properly working and The right recipes and guidelines And sometimes, a call to your local county extension office BEFORE you make a mistake. Safe food preservation requires careful planning: Proper equipment that is properly working and The right recipes and guidelines And sometimes, a call to your local county extension office BEFORE you make a mistake.

    27. Question time?? Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.Let me take a minute to ask is there are any questions that you have at this point.

    28. Canning and Preserving for Special Diets Choose recipes that dont require sugar or salt for safety Read the recipe carefully Dont choose your own substitutions Many recipes lend themselves to preserving food for people who are watching their salt and/or sugar intake. First, choose recipes that dont require sugar or salt for safety. Some fermented foods like genuine dill pickles and sauerkraut require a certain amount of salt; but in most other recipes the salt can be omitted without affecting safety. Sugar is rarely needed, other than to allow jams and jellies to gel and to provide a nice texture to canned fruits. In the coming weeks we will talk about how you can modify jam and fruit recipes for low sugar diets. Next, read each recipe carefully. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of vinegar but only a teaspoon of salt, chances are that the salt is only fur flavor, but the vinegar is necessary for the proper acid level. And never choose your own substitutions. As we will see, sometimes you can omit ingredients like salt, or garlic, but it isnt OK to substitute vinegar for lemon juice, unless the recipe offers this substitution.Many recipes lend themselves to preserving food for people who are watching their salt and/or sugar intake. First, choose recipes that dont require sugar or salt for safety. Some fermented foods like genuine dill pickles and sauerkraut require a certain amount of salt; but in most other recipes the salt can be omitted without affecting safety. Sugar is rarely needed, other than to allow jams and jellies to gel and to provide a nice texture to canned fruits. In the coming weeks we will talk about how you can modify jam and fruit recipes for low sugar diets. Next, read each recipe carefully. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of vinegar but only a teaspoon of salt, chances are that the salt is only fur flavor, but the vinegar is necessary for the proper acid level. And never choose your own substitutions. As we will see, sometimes you can omit ingredients like salt, or garlic, but it isnt OK to substitute vinegar for lemon juice, unless the recipe offers this substitution.

    29. How Long Does It Keep? Canned foods- 1 year Frozen foods- meats 3 to 9 months, fruits and vegetables 1 year Dried foods- fruits and meat 6 months, and vegetables 1 year Once food is properly frozen, canned or dehydrated, how long can it be stored? The standard in the food industry is: First In, First Out or FIFO. Certainly, it depends on storage conditions. But assuming that you have a dark, cool storage area for canned foods, they can safely be stored for several years. Because the quality deteriorates over time due to changes in color, texture and flavor, home canned goods should be used up within a year. The nutrients in home canned food will also decline over time, beginning sometime in the first year and accelerating after that. Be sure to date and label each item once it is canned to help you judge which items to chose. Frozen foods should be stored at 0 degrees F, or lower. Roasts and steaks can be stored for 6-9 months (for best quality, but will remain safe up to at least 1 year), ground meats for 2-3 months. Meat that isnt wrapped properly may develop freezer burn. This area isnt harmful, but it can be unpalatable when cooked. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored for up to 1 year. Dried fruits and meat (jerky) can be stored for up to 6 months, although meat will retain better quality if dried and frozen; dried vegetables can be stored for 1 year. Dried foods must be stored in airtight containers that dont allow in moisture. Remember, these are guidelines only. Successful storage of home preserved foods requires the proper packaging and storage conditions. Once food is properly frozen, canned or dehydrated, how long can it be stored? The standard in the food industry is: First In, First Out or FIFO. Certainly, it depends on storage conditions. But assuming that you have a dark, cool storage area for canned foods, they can safely be stored for several years. Because the quality deteriorates over time due to changes in color, texture and flavor, home canned goods should be used up within a year. The nutrients in home canned food will also decline over time, beginning sometime in the first year and accelerating after that. Be sure to date and label each item once it is canned to help you judge which items to chose. Frozen foods should be stored at 0 degrees F, or lower. Roasts and steaks can be stored for 6-9 months (for best quality, but will remain safe up to at least 1 year), ground meats for 2-3 months. Meat that isnt wrapped properly may develop freezer burn. This area isnt harmful, but it can be unpalatable when cooked. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored for up to 1 year. Dried fruits and meat (jerky) can be stored for up to 6 months, although meat will retain better quality if dried and frozen; dried vegetables can be stored for 1 year. Dried foods must be stored in airtight containers that dont allow in moisture. Remember, these are guidelines only. Successful storage of home preserved foods requires the proper packaging and storage conditions.

    30. Publications: Safe Canning Methods B2718 Using and Caring for a Pressure Canner - B2593 Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation series publications

    31. Next Time: Tuesday, May 31 10-11 am Storing Fruits and Vegetables Tips on handling fresh fruits and vegetables for safe, high quality storage.