NDSU Extension - Benson County

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Myth Busting: Food Preservation Style

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

As food preservation season approaches, you may hear your friends and neighbors talking about some interesting food preservation techniques.  You may have even found new ideas on Pinterest, or perhaps remembered old canning techniques when you opened one of your well-used church cookbooks.  When it comes to food preservation, if it seems out of the ordinary or outdated, it is most likely unsafe.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture changed their canning guidelines in 1994 and again in 2006 which means that if you are using great-grandma’s recipe for canning your green beans, it is time to find a research base, safe recipe.  NDSU Extension offers up to date, safe recipes for your use at www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/preservation

A popular recipe that seems to be unique to each family is salsa.  It is NOT safe to throw a variety of salsa type ingredients in a jar, can them, and put them on a shelf for later consumption.  If you plan to can salsa, use a recipe from NDSU Extension.  Recipes that are not carefully measured and researched may not be safe to consume through the canning process.  If you do have a favorite family recipe that you simply cannot part with, consider freezing the salsa instead.  This is always safe, and helps to avoid uncertainty. 

When it comes to food preservation, there are many myths that can cause us to get sick, and can even cause fatalities.  Knowing how to preserve our food safely is extremely important.  If you are unsure on how to preserve something, be sure to look for up to date and accurate information.  The UDSA, Extension, and Ball all offer this type of information.  If you have additional questions about food preservation feel free to call the NDSU Extension office in Benson County at 473-5363.

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