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Food preservation for youth

Food preservation can be a family event.

Food preservation is an old tradition in many families, with youth learning from mothers, fathers and grandparents. Michigan State University Extension has a program for youth that shows the different methods of food preservation, called “Put it Up!” from Georgia State University and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Put it Up! is one of many food safety programs that MSU Extension offers. It promotes science-based information that is essential to keep preserved food free of foodborne illness. It provides hands-on learning experiences and fun food exploration intended for youth 9 to12-years-old. However, it can be applied to all ages for a positive, hands-on, learning experience. The preservation methods that are covered while teaching the six lesson series are:

  • Using a pressure canner
  • Boiling water bath canning
  • Pickling methods
  • Jams and jellies
  • Freezing
  • Dehydrating/Drying

There are two projects for each preservation method that youth can experience: a beginner lesson and an advanced lesson. The program also provides science experiments, word games and equipment safety skills needed when in the kitchen. While the experiments are created for youth, it is best if adults participate to keep safety in the forefront. An adult should always be present while food is being processed. The course is an easy way to encourage healthy living when preserving your own foods.

Pu it Up! creates a fun learning environment. Following the step by step instructions, youth can create a pantry of which they can be proud. Home food preservation lets one know where food comes from and what is in it.

For more information on Put it Up! or to inquire about programs available to you in your area contact your local MSU Extension office.

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