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SOURCE Agriculture is America
With harvest season upon us, many universities are sponsoring local programs to educate, promote safety
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As food prices continue to rise across the region, consumers are increasingly looking to old traditions of home preservation to stretch their food budget. While canning fruits and vegetables has deep cultural roots in the Southern United States, a new generation of cost-conscious consumers has embraced home food preservation techniques. While home preservation offers many benefits, including cost-savings and support for local food systems, concerns and risks surrounding food safety still exist. Increasingly, home preservationists are turning to the agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs at universities throughout the South for safe, research-tested food preservation techniques.
"As we enter into the 2013 harvest season, Cooperative Extension across the South offers programs, resources and trainings in research-tested home food preservation techniques, recipes and procedures," said Beverly Sparks, associate dean for extension at the University of Georgia. "Our Research and Extension programs in each state provide critical resources to help consumers maximize their garden harvests and safely preserve food at home they can use all winter. Home food preservation is very popular again, so it's important we help consumers understand the science of home food preservation, protecting our citizens from foodborne illness."
Examples of these programs include Alabama Cooperative Extension System's Food Safety Team, which trains participants in all facets of food preservation. The University of Georgia hosts the National Center for Home Food Preservation, educating consumers on the most current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. The University of Kentucky offers hands-on "Back to Basics" classes teaching a new generation skills that were once taken for granted.
"Food preservation has become quite a convenient and cost-cutting tool for families across the South," Sparks said. "The goal of our land-grant institutions is to properly train and educate consumers about the safest ways to preserve and support their local food industries."
Agriculture is America. There is no other industry in the United States vital to nearly every facet of human life, from the food we eat to the jobs we hold and the energy we'll create for the future. In short, the agriculture industry -- sustained in large part by the American land-grant university system through both Agricultural Experiment Stations and Cooperative Extension -- is integral to jobs, national security and health.
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