Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true. That’s a good rule of thumb for everything — but it’s especially important when it comes to home food preservation.
The internet is full of dangerous misinformation when it comes to home canning. And that’s why Grow This, a West Virginia University Extension project, has launched a new video series called “Canning 101.”
The videos can be found on the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program's YouTube channel, or on the Grow This Facebook page.
The series is hosted by canning expert Gina Taylor, a WVU Extension agent in Jackson County.
"Canning is a wonderful way to enjoy summer fruits and vegetables all year long. But it's important to follow research-based methods when preserving foods at home," Taylor said. "It could be a life-or-death situation."
Improperly preserving foods can lead to the growth of a bacteria called clostridium
botulinum, which causes botulism — a disease that paralyzes muscles, including
those used to breathe.
To keep botulism at bay, Taylor covers a variety of topics in the series: the different types of canners and what they are used for, how to safely use a pressure canner, handy tools to make the process easier and where to find safe canning information.
“A lot of people who are new to canning get their information from the internet. But the information you find is not always research-based, and you could potentially make yourself or your family very sick,” she said. “Extension programs are always going to give you the best information for canning.”
The Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge is a project of the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program that sends free seeds and gardening instruction to West Virginia families.
The project began five years ago but exploded in popularity during 2020’s COVID lockdown — going from a few hundred sign-ups to around 25,000. The program has only continued to sprout. Grow This had 102,000 participants in 2022.
Seed sign-ups have closed for 2022 but will re-open in December for 2023’s growing season. To receive updates about the program, follow Grow This on Facebook ( facebook.com/growthiswv) and Instagram ( instagram.com/growthiswv) for updates, or sign-up for the weekly Grow This newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/mail/growthis
WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s work is supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.