Friday, June 6, 2014

Controversy, education & wise choices for your family...

Lil' Frog asked a very interesting question “Followed here (to the blog) from your FB post about the milk, but then looked this (canning butter) up because I canned butter but all of the lids failed when I went to use it...anyway I just noticed something odd to me...why would you process butter the same time as for meats but milk (which it's made from) for only 10 mins. It just seemed odd the time difference...especially since the butter is already hot and ready...can you explain why the difference in times?”

The short answer is I don't really know why there is a difference in the timing in pressure canning these two different, but similar products. Even after researching more today, I couldn't find an adequate answer to Lil' Frog's question.

First, to address the failure rate of the lids when canning butter, the only thing I would add is when I have an issue with this, I increase the head-space (that space between the product being canned and the very top of the lid) and I insure that I thoroughly clean the top of the rims. If it is something that is higher in fat, I will even clean the rims a couple of times, using a fresh paper towel and vinegar.

Just an interesting note: This specific picture is all over the internet. I try hard to follow pictures & articles back to the original publication. This particular image is directly from the USDA Guideline Handbook.

What I will share is how I personally determine what I am going to can or not can. When I am researching a particular subject, (like canning milk or butter) I spend literally hours, reading guidelines, the USDA guidelines (I can't tell you how many times I have read their online information) and I study specific canners that I personally trust. Here is a link to a blog post I did on What does the USDA Really Say AboutCanning Milk (237). This includes charts from the USDA's Guidelines Handbook & a link to download and print their handbook.
I HIGHLY encourage you to do the research for yourself, to determine what you are willing to consider safe for your own family. First and foremost we are each individually responsible for using our own judgment for our families safety. That being said, based on what I have researched, I share with you what I consider safe for my family. in my mind.
That being said I want to emphasize whatever your decide; 
"ALWAYS use impeccable hygiene  
canning practices"
I believe everything should be sterilized. Including your tools, jars, lids, rings. Always use fresh clean towels, be generous with your paper towels when cleaning.
Sorry that I don't have a more definitive answer. I will continue to research and if I find out more I will share.

If you have some time here are just a few links I think are worth reading. Both pros and cons, since that is how I roll.
2. Preparedness Pro:
Several articles when searching for botulism
3. Katzcradul RANT on Botulism Fear Mongering


To be fair, I also share people that disagree with these practices.

1. Preserving the Harvest By the Book; I respect just doesn't believe in doing anything outside of the canning bible. If you want straight from the book procedures, she is the gal to follow in my opinion. Though she appears to have not been posting in a while.
2. imstillworkin (Youtube vlogger)


I wish I had the answer, but I don't at this point in time. You are welcome to gently disagree with me or each other and post. I am willing to have both sides posted here or on facebook. Again, do the research, because I do feel this is an important decision.

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