Posts Tagged: Master Food Preserver
Leftover food from holiday parties and meals need not go to waste, according to two UC Cooperative Extension Master Food Preservers (UCCE MFP) who appeared on Good Day Sacramento. Marijohn Bledsoe, UCCE MFP Capitol Corridor program coordinator, and Liesha Barnett, MFP volunteer intern in Solano County, were featured in a three-minute live shot from the UCCE office to talk about food dehydration, a safe way to preserve food for safe and healthy snacking.
The conversation first turned to turkey, which Barnett said can be dried into turkey jerky, popped into a plastic bag and right into a backpack for enjoyment during any outdoor activity. Leftover cranberry sauce can be dried with or without sugar into fruit leather and rolled in wax paper for easy packing. Dehydrated leftover veggies - like onion, carrots and celery - make easy soup add ins.
"Just toss them into a crock pot," Barnett said.
Bledsoe told the reporter that the UC Master Food Preserver program offers classes in safe food preservation to the public, and teaches interested members of the public to become Master Food Preservers' themselves and teach members of their communities how to reduce food waste by safely canning, drying and pickling produce, meats, and even whole holiday meals.
In years past, canning knowledge was passed down from grandmothers and mothers to children. Access to commercially canned and frozen fruits and vegetables put home food preservation on the back burner. The Master Food Preserver program was established in the 1980s, but is now seeing a surge in interest as consumers want more control over the sources and additives in their food.
"The UC Master Food Preserver Program serves as a reliable resource for research-based information on home food preservation," said Missy Gable, who overseas the program for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Improperly preserved food can cause serious illness. Meats, vegetables and any food containing meats or vegetables - such as soup or spaghetti sauce - must be pressure-canned to prevent potentially fatal botulism. Incorrect procedures can allow micro organisms to spoil canned foods.
"Each UC Master Food Preserver volunteer understands food safety and the steps needed to safely preserve and store foods," Gable said. "They also understand the science behind home food preservation and help the public identify the best food preservation methods for the items they would like to store."
The Master Food Preserver Program is available in 10 California counties. Learn more about food preservation and find a local program on the UC ANR Master Food Preserver website.
An article in the (Garberville) Redwood Times reports that UC Cooperative Extension Humboldt County has received a grant to share agriculture, natural resources and youth development support with Native American tribal members.
"There are about 25 [Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Programs] across the country, but none in California, so we are honored to receive this funding", said Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension farm and community advisor in Humboldt County.
Though the program is still in planning stages and gathering input, one project will focus on career and college exploration for teenagers, with a college tour in March.
Christmas list for home food preservers
Ora Emmerich, (Placerville) Mountain Democrat
What to get a home food preserver for Christmas? This column by Ora Emmerich, a UC Master Food Preserver, suggests any of a variety of thermometers might be a good place to start, with a discussion of the different options.
Larger gifts might include a pressure canner, sausage-filler or dehydrator. Potential stocking stuffers suggested were new lids and rings, along with small but important tools such as a bubble remover.
One of the 18 trainees in Los Angeles County's newly revived Master Food Preserver program is Los Angeles Times blogger Rachael Narins, who has promised her readers tips and highlights as she completes the 12-week training session.
Increasing interest in home gardening and sustainable eating has renewed enthusiasm for what was a dying art 10 years ago, when the program was discontinued in Los Angeles County. This spring, 56 applicants were willing to pay the $120 fee and commit to volunteering a minimum of 30 hours in order to receive the food preservation training.
After just the first class, Narins is already beginning the public education process. The program started, she wrote, where any reputable cooking course begins, with a lecture on safety and sanitation.
In the coming weeks the class will cover specific types of canning and what’s in season. She reported that the L.A. County Master Food Preservers will have a website and Facebook page up soon.
Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller, a formally trained chef, is the primary instructor for the LA county program (Photo: Felecia Friesema)
In what is probably a natural outgrowth of the emerging vegetable gardening and local food movement, Los Angeles County UC Cooperative Extension is bringing back a Master Food Preserver program.
The program was discontinued 10 years ago when home canning fell out of favor in modern kitchens. Interest has rebounded. A story in the LA Weekly blog Squid Ink says Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller and UC Cooperative Extension nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor Brenda Roche will relaunch the program in March.
Like Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers are volunteers who receive in-depth training from UC Cooperative Extension experts then share their knowledge with the general public. Miller will teach the 12-week series to approximately 15 students at the UC Cooperative Extension office in East Los Angeles.
"The class is truly amazing, it covers every aspect of safe food preservation from canning to pressure canning, of course, but also freezing, dehydration, curing, smoking, fermentation and brewing," Miller was quoted. "It is a hands-on class and nearly every week the participants will make and take home various preserved products."
Miller a chef at The Farmer's Kitchen, a project of the non-profit Sustainable Economic Enterprises, which manages eight farmer's markets in LA. He earned his Master Food Preserver designation form UC Cooperative Extension in San Bernardino County and also recently became a UC Master Gardener.
Miller writes a blog about home food preservation, PreserveNation
LA Master Food Preserver applicants will be selected for the program based on their prior food preservation, culinary and volunteer experience, the article said. The students must pay a $120 class fee and commit to a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work per year.
Home canning is once again growing in popularity.