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Reliable home food preservation videos now available on new website

Americans' interest in traditional homemaking activities – gardening, cooking, baking bread and canning – has risen dramatically over the last few months, according to Google Trends.

Getting reliable information is particularly important when it comes to home food preservation. But internet search results don't always display research-based information at the top. Using the wrong procedure won't qualify as a hilarious Pinterest Fail; it can be fatal.

To make reliable home food preservation how-to videos easy to find, a team of UC Cooperative Extension professionals and volunteers reviewed and aggregated research-based food preservation videos produced by Cooperative Extension programs across the nation on one website – http://ucanr.edu/MFPvideolibrary.

UC Cooperative Extension has compiled a video library on research-based home food preservation at http://ucanr.edu/MFPvideolibrary.

“As far as we can tell, this site is the only website with a full collection of food safety and food preservation videos from the Cooperative Extension system,” said UCCE Master Food Preserver coordinator Sue Mosbacher. In partnership with states, counties and universities, the USDA's Cooperative Extension system provides higher education to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth and families. In California, UC Cooperative Extension is part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The videos are divided into 10 categories: food safety, food preservation methods, jam & jelly, pickle & ferment, dehydrate, refrigerate & freeze, can fruit, can tomatoes, can vegetables and preserve meat & fish.

The UC Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver Program trains and certifies volunteers to teach the public about food preservation techniques and safety. Certified UC Master Food Preservers typically hold community classes to extend the information. During the COVID-19 crisis, in-person classes have been canceled, so video-based learning is critical to educating families who are interested in the craft.

Safety is key to home food preservation.
Mosbacher, who leads the UC Master Food Preserver Programs in Sacramento, Amador and Calaveras counties, coordinated the collection and developed the website, along with Jan Fetler, a UC Master Food Preserver volunteer in Sacramento County. Orange County's UC Master Food Preserver coordinator Colleen Clemons created a list of all state Extension offices with food preservation videos on YouTube and gathered the YouTube addresses. The video list was divided among 15 volunteers who reviewed and selected the most appropriate content for the collection. El Dorado County's UCCE office staff administrator Robin Cleveland and Nancy Star tested all the website links. San Luis Obispo County UC Master Food Preserver coordinator Dana Ravalen is writing the video descriptions.

Dustin Blakey, director of UC Cooperative Extension in Inyo and Mono counties and coordinator of the local Master Food Preserver volunteers, created one of the videos in the collection. In seven minutes, Blakey outlines the process of preserving dry beans. (View the video below.)

“Right now, with people losing their jobs, if you have a pressure canner, you can buy a five-pound bag of beans for $5 and make 16 cans of beans,” Blakey said. “If you have the equipment and jars, it's a great way to preserve the food and then this summer, you have it ready to go.”

Blakey said he and his team will be producing more home food preservation videos in the future.


Posted on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Correct Use of Disinfectants

covid-infographic NPIC

Many people have increased their use of disinfectants and sanitizers due to the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to use these products correctly to ensure they are effective and to protect ones health. See the info graphic below from the...

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Murder Hornets! Everyone Calm Down

Asian Giant Hornet <i>V. mandarina</i><br>(Credit: Washington State Department of Agriculture)

First things first: "murder" hornets, or more correctly, the Asian giant hornet, have NOT been found in California. The term murder hornet is also not quite accurate. It attacks honey bees, which isn't desirable of course, but the important thing to...

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe members create a healthy garden

At the end of February, before COVID-19 disrupted normal life, members of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe, in a remote area of Riverside County, gathered to plant vegetables and herbs in the A'Avutem (elders) garden.

Members of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe plant vegetables and herbs in the A’Avutem (elders) garden on Feb. 27, 2020.

Six raised garden boxes were installed several years ago with funding from the California Rural Indian Health Board, but stood empty. UC Cooperative Extension nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor Chutima Ganthavorn and vegetable crops advisor Jose Aguiar obtained approval from the Tribal Council to engage the Youth Council in planting a new garden with seniors.

Three youth and six senior members of the tribe harvested produce on the morning of May 12, 2020.

This intergenerational group planted chili peppers, bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, corn, mint, basil and lemon grass Feb. 27. Select tribal members, including three youth and six seniors, harvested produce on the morning of May 12. While wearing masks and practicing social distance protocols, they harvested three boxes of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and chili peppers.

"It is really nice to see the fruit of their efforts," Ganthavorn said.

Members of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe created a healthy vegetable garden.
Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 9:45 AM

Anthracnose Pest Note Updated

Black leaf spots caused by Chinese elm anthracnose.<br>(Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that infect many trees and shrubs, causing dark lesions on leaves and cankers on twigs and stems. In some areas of California, vegetables and turfgrass can also be infected with anthracnose. Symptoms of...

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 3:16 PM

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