The 3 Best Sources For Information On Home Canning

There is a lot of information out there about canning, some accurate and some not so accurate. A lot of folks share on social media sites their favorite recipes for canning that they have made up which may or may not represent safe canning practices. If those recipes do not meet the standards for safe canning, then the food may not stay safe for consumption.

But here are three resources that can be counted on to deliver the most accurate and current information on all things canning. A wise practice is to consult one of these resources before canning to ensure the recipe you follow meets those safe canning standards.

Resource 1: USDA Complete Guide To Home Canning

This publication, which can be found at https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html#gsc.tab=0, is a free online resource of the United States Department of Agriculture providing the latest information on all aspects of canning. But, if you prefer a paper copy, the guide can be purchased in print form at a very reasonable cost from Perdue University at https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=AIG-539.

Resource 2: The National Center For Home Food Preservation

Located online at https://nchfp.uga.edu/#gsc.tab=0, the National Center For Home Food Preservation is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service for the express purpose of researching all aspects of food preservation and providing the results of that research to anyone using any of the various methods of food preservation and for educators who teach those methods.

The information provided by the National Center For Home Food Preservation is the most current information available on the following topics: Canning, Freezing, Drying, Curing, Smoking, Fermenting, Pickling, Jam and Jelly Making, and Storing.

Resource 3: Local State and County Extension Service Agents

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, according to their website, is in partnership with “a vast network of scientists, educators, and extension staff that address critical issues about agriculture, food, the environment, and communities.”

The key partner in this group is the system of Land-Grant Universities located in every state within the United States and its territories. To find the Land-grant college or university in your area, check out this Land-grant Map.

This “network of scientists, educators, and extension staff” are constantly working on research projects which provide the most current information on a wide range of topics which include the environment, farming, plants, animals, natural resources, and the best and safest techniques in food preservation.

The information provided by these researchers is made available to you through Resources 1 and 2 above and by your local County Extension Service Agent. Help with canning is available to all who need it by simply going online to one of the websites discussed here or by visiting your local County Agent.

Final Thoughts

Anne James Jars of Jelly at a Farmer's Market
Courtesy of Daily Commercial

Home canning is very rewarding, and is an important part of many households. But it is essential to ensure the safety and quality of your preserved foods by using the most accurate information available and preparing your food for storage by following safe canning practices. Use of the information provided by the resources in this article can ensure that you are following the most current and accurate information available.

Following these three steps will help you enjoy the fruits of your labor while prioritizing the health and well-being of yourself and your family:

  1. Prepare your food in accordance with safe canning practices.
  2. Label your food properly.
  3. Inspect your preserved food regularly to watch for changes in appearance or texture.

For more information on this topic, check out my video entitled “When Should Home Canned Food Be Discarded?”

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or survivalfreedom.com.

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