Preserving Food at Home Can Be Rewarding


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Susan Shockey, PhD, of the OSU Extension-Franklin County, discusses the basics of canning, freezing, and drying various fruits and vegetables.

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  • Today’s Topics When to Harvest Produce see Fact Sheet on Ohioline 2. Estimated Yield of Canned Fruits & Vegetables from Fresh See Colorado University Extension Fact Sheet 3. Actual Yield Depends on Quality of Food See Colorado University Extension Fact Sheet 4. Cost of Preserving and Storing Food See Colorado University Extension Fact Sheet
  • Before deciding what food to preserve, consider the types of foods your family enjoys You will also want to consider the use of the preserved food in your family meals and snacks prepared
  • We preserve foods for different reasons Some of us do food preservation because we want to preserve our garden produce Some of us want to know and manage what is in their food Other individuals will get great personal satisfaction of doing food preservation as an activity Another reason is the stored food is a convenience Many time Family and Consumer Sciences Educators are told that families enjoy getting together and canning, freezing, or drying Sometimes neighbors have fun working together Many people will distribute their food as a gift to loved ones
  • It is estimated that produce harvested lose 5-25% of nutrients This is most often because of poor handling practices resulting in damage and disease 2. Produce will continue age and will eventually spoil Fresh produce is a living system that continues to change Knowing how to handle produce to prevent spoilage is key in food preservation 3. Principles of postharvest handling are the same whether you are growing for your own fruits and vegetables or purchasing from a farmers market or grocery store
  • Consumers/ Individual family members want high quality produce they perceive as fresh Perception of quality is based on: 1. Appearance and feel a. Size, color, shape b. Firmness 2. Eating quality a. Texture b. Flavor c. Juiciness 3. Freshness a. Water content b. Gloss or sheen c. Aroma 4. Organically Grown a. No pesticides
  • Produce quality can be maintained to as close to when picked (slow the aging process) by using good growing and postharvest handling practices
  • Postharvest quality is directly related to decisions and practices from variety selection by the grower to food preservation by the consumer A. Grower’s responsibilities are: 1. Variety selection (characteristics genetically programmed) a. Choose for superior flavor, texture, color b. Look at shelf life, storage potential 2. Soil preparation (postharvest problems—too much nitrogen, too little calcium) 3. Planting and growing a. Spacing, thinning b. Timing planting c. Trellising d. Pruning e. Water and nutrition management f. Pest and disease control B. Food Preserver’s responsibilities are: 4. Harvest own produce or purchase produce 5. Postharvest care a. Storage Food Preservation a. Canning b. Freezing c. Drying d. Pickling 7. Consuming Food
  • When to Harvest Produce see Fact Sheet on Ohioline Available at
  • Freezing slows down the spoilage process by changing water into ice, a form that the bacteria cannot use Canning first destroys bacteria through heating and then the food is placed in a sterilized container and sealed Drying removes water from the food which stops spoilage by preventing bacteria to grow and reproduce
  • Notes: Ohioline Fact Sheet Cost of Storing and Producing Food Colorado State Extension
  • For more information refer to the Colorado University Extension Fact Sheet Bu=bushel
  • In summary, home food preservation can be rewarding Individuals need to be mindful of the produce available and consider the overall cost of preserving food
  • Preserving Food at Home Can Be Rewarding

    1. 1. Simple, Safe, Easy to Learn Preserving Food at Home can be Rewarding
    2. 2. Today’s Topics <ul><li>When to harvest produce </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated yield of canned fruits & </li></ul><ul><li>vegetables from fresh </li></ul><ul><li>Actual yield depends on food quality </li></ul><ul><li>Costs of preserving and storing food </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Before preserving any food </li></ul><ul><li>consider the types of foods your family enjoys and the usefulness of the preserved product in your lifestyle. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why do we Preserve Food? <ul><li>Save foods from a “time of plenty” to a “time of need” </li></ul><ul><li>Know what is in food </li></ul><ul><li>Personal satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve family traditions </li></ul>“ Food Safety Always Comes First”
    5. 5. Keep it Fresh From the Garden <ul><li>5-25% loss of nutrients after harvest </li></ul><ul><li>Why does produce spoil? </li></ul><ul><li>How to safely handle produce </li></ul>
    6. 6. Consumers’ Perception of Quality <ul><li>Appearance & feel </li></ul><ul><li>Eating quality </li></ul><ul><li>Freshness </li></ul><ul><li>Organically grown </li></ul>
    7. 7. Harvested Produce are Living Systems that “Age” <ul><li>GOAL: slow down the aging process! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Grower’s and Preserver’s Responsibility Cycle Postharvest Care Harvest or Purchase Planting & Growing Consumption Variety Selection Soil Preparation Food Preservation
    9. 9. Harvest <ul><li>Pick early in the morning </li></ul><ul><li>Shade </li></ul><ul><li>Keep moist </li></ul><ul><li>Air circulation </li></ul><ul><li>Mature </li></ul><ul><li>Gentle & sanitary picking </li></ul><ul><li>Discard damaged product </li></ul>
    10. 10. Methods of Food Preservation <ul><li>Canning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Bath Canning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure Canning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drying </li></ul><ul><li>Freezing </li></ul>
    11. 11. Costs of Food Preservation <ul><li>Produce and Ingredients </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment and Supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel and Water Usage </li></ul><ul><li>Large Equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Freezer, pressure canner, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time and Energy </li></ul>Costs
    12. 12. Estimated Yield of Canned Fruits and Vegetables from Fresh <ul><li>(Actual yield depends on quality of food) </li></ul><ul><li>Fruits and tomatoes Quantity Yield </li></ul><ul><li>Apples: </li></ul><ul><li>- sliced 1 bu 15-20 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>- sauce 1 bu 15-18 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>Cherries 1 box (22 lbs) 9-11 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>Peaches 1 bu (48 lbs) 18-14 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>Tomatoes: </li></ul><ul><li>- whole 1 bu (53 lbs) 15-20 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>- juice 1 bu (53 lbs) 12-16 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetables Quantity Yield </li></ul><ul><li>Beans (green) 1 bu (30 lbs) 12-20 quarts </li></ul><ul><li>Corn 1 bu (35 lbs) 12-16 pints </li></ul>
    13. 13. Summary <ul><li>“ One way to help manage rising food costs is with a garden hoe and canning jars . Home food preservation does save money for some people. For others, it may not. Costs to consider include produce and added ingredients, equipment and supplies, fuel consumption to preserve and store the foods, lost interest on large capital outlays such as a freezer, personal time and energy, and the cost of similar food preserved commercially.” </li></ul>Source: Kendall, P. and Payton, L. (August, 2008) Colorado State University Extension
    14. 14. Questions? <ul><li>“ This material has not been peer-reviewed for statewide distribution -- blind peer review pending.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. References: Bush, D. and Keener, K. (February, 2007) Food Entrepreneurship Series: Food Preservation and Processing Technologies . Department of Food Science, Purdue Extension, Bulletin No. FS-15-W. James, B. H., (2002) Keeping It Fresh from the Field. Ohio State University Extension. Available at: Kendall, P. and Payton, L. (August, 2008) Food and Nutrition Series: Cost of Preserving and Storing Food. Colorado State University Extension, Bulletin No. 8.707 Michelich, K. (January 2010) Home Canning: Consider the Pros and Cons. Ohio State University Extension