NEWS Salary Lady’s Scholarship Supports Food Preservation Education at ISU Outreach and Outreach

Salary Lady's Scholarship Supports Food Preservation Education at ISU Outreach and Outreach

Ames, Iowa — As Americans take an increasing interest in preserving food at home, concerns are growing about whether the resulting food is safe to eat, as improper canning could lead to botulism poisoned. Half of the reported cases of foodborne botulism in the United States are caused by improper home canning.

Following safe food handling practices and research-based food preservation recipes are key steps in preventing this serious foodborne illness, says Sarah Francis, a food and health status extension specialist at Iowa State University. That’s why ISU Outreach and Outreach offers “Preserving the Taste of Summer,” a research-based food preservation educational program. In these hands-on workshops, Iowans learn how to safely preserve food for year-round enjoyment.

In summer 2022, ISU Outreach and Outreach partnered with Mrs. Wages, a Kent Precision Foods Group brand of home food preservation products, to provide food preservation education to the state of Iowa at no cost or at a reduced cost.

“Ms. Payroll donated food preservation products and funds to support workshop scholarships,” said Francis, who also serves as interim director of humanities outreach and outreach.

“This in-kind and financial support removes a barrier that prevents some Iowans from attending our hands-on workshops. Thanks to Mrs. Wages’ generous support, we are able to reach new audiences who would not otherwise be able to receive this type of food safety training ,” Francis said.

Food preservation.“Mrs. Wages has been a partner in canning and food preservation for over 70 years. Not only are we committed to safe food preservation practices, but we are also sharing this skill with new audiences. Providing this scholarship allows us to do both ,” said Brianna Kuhlers, senior associate brand manager for Mrs. Wages.

From June through mid-October, 86 scholarships were awarded totaling $3,404.

“We provided food preservation education to people on limited incomes, held our first Spanish-language workshop, and held many more workshops in rural communities. Over five months, ISU promoted and outreached food preservation The training reached 439 adults. This is an increase of 187% compared to the same period in 2021,” Francis noted.

Preserve the Taste of Summer is providing the state of Iowa with research-based food preservation information that is relevant, easy to understand, and presented in a way that engages participants.

“The most exciting result of working with Mrs. Wages was that nearly everyone who attended the Preserving the Taste of Summer workshop reported that they might be able to preserve food at home,” Francis said.

One participant noted the importance of learning about food preservation from reliable sources. In the workshop evaluation, this person reported, “I have done some basic canning and freezing in the last year, but there is a lot of information on the process and recipes – books, articles, online sites, etc. It’s hard to find what works and what doesn’t , and what you should or shouldn’t do. I appreciate this training and the opportunity for in-person training to learn from reliable sources and be directed to more reliable and safe resources.”

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