Food Preservation Badge

(Discover the Home)

by Doreen Olson



Preschool: Do three requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* What is food preservation? With an adult, find two foods and use two different methods to preserve them. Examples include freezing, drying, salting, smoking, etc.

_____2.* Find two different foods that have been preserved. Try them both preserved and fresh. Which way do you like best?


Level 1: Do four requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Preschool requirements 1 & 2. Choose three of the following methods of food preservation and work with an adult to help process some food with those methods.  If it is not possible to preserve by as many methods as you wish, you may substitute using a preserved food to make a dish. The methods are: freezing, drying, candying, canning, salting, pickling, freeze-drying, vacuum-packing, surrounding a food with inert gas such as nitrogen or CO2, smoking, refrigerating, and fermenting

_____2.* Choose three foods and eat them each prepared in three ways — fresh and after two different types of preservation. Which ways are your favorites?


Level 2: Do five requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Level 1 requirements 1 & 2, but choose four methods of food preservation.

_____2.* Figure out one advantage and one disadvantage for the above methods of preservation. What is blanching and how do acids such as lemon juice help with food preservation? Why do people preserve food?


Level 3: Do six requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Level 2 requirements 1 & 2, but choose five methods of preservation.

_____2.* What are the things that make food spoil? (Examples include heat, light, oxygen, microbes, pests, etc.) Look at some food pests or some food-spoiling microbes with a magnifying glass or microscope. What kinds of diseases can be caught from spoiled food? What happens to nutrients when food spoils? How about taste and appearance? How can you tell if preserved foods have spoiled? What is botulism and how can you prevent it?


Level 4: Do seven requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Level 3 requirements 1 & 2, but choose six methods of preservation.

_____2.* Make jam, jelly or other canned items to give as gifts. Make decorative labels and decorate the lid.


Level 5: Do nine requirements including the two starred *

_____1.* Do Level 4 requirements 1 & 2.

_____2.* Teach someone how to do a skill from this badge or teach some knowledge about this badge to someone. You can teach kids, your spouse, seniors, anyone, just as long as you are sharing your new found knowledge. If for some reason you cannot teach what you have learned to someone else, you may choose an additional 2 optional requirements instead.



Optional Requirements

_____3. Watch a documentary on food preservation.

_____4. Visit a food processing plant to watch food being processed or watch a video about how food is processed and preserved.

_____5. Take some of your preserved food to a food bank or help process something that’s been donated so that it won’t spoil.

_____6. Learn about a career in the food preservation industry. Have you ever thought a career in meat packing, convenience food research & development, or managing a packaging plant? Read a book, talk to someone in this career or research it on the internet. What type of education do you need? What type of pay can you expect?

_____7. Visit your county fair and check out the preserved foods competitions. Why do you think one item scored higher than others? What types of things are the judges looking for?

_____8. Learn about the history of food preservation.

_____9. What are some ways to preserve food without a lot of equipment? What are the ways to preserve food that have only been available during the last one hundred years? Which methods of food preservation use the least space for storage? Which ones keep food preserved the longest?

_____10. Know recommended packaging materials for freezing food. Know how to properly wrap meat, and how to label food for the freezer. Create and maintain a freezer inventory for at least two weeks.

_____11. Know the steps in preparing a home canned item, show how to test a seal and prepare canned foods for storage. What is the difference between hot water bath canning and pressure canning? When should each be used?



Web Sites:
National Center for Home Food Preservation:

University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences Publications: Food Safety and Preservation:

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, Preserving Food: Drying Fruits and Vegetables fact sheet:

USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 1994: