Equay-wuk hosts food preservation workshop
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Hosted by Equay-wuk (Women’s Group) at the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre, participants joined Arlene Meekis-Jung for a food preservation workshop.
Meekis-Jungs’ bio reads, “Meekis-Jung is an Anishinaabe-kwe from North Western Ontario who has lived in the northern communities. Her passion for affordable foods in the north has come from both personal experience and seeing the struggles of others. Living in a remote reservation, she has quickly learned that cooking from ingredients was simpler than trying to figure out what she’d want to eat for months at a time without the access to grocery shop for fresh ingredients. She is a certified PRESERVESafe trainer and is able to can meats, fish, jams, jellies, dehydrating herbs, vegetables and jerky, and curing meats.”
Throughout the one-day workshop, participants had the opportunity to learn how to can meats, homemade pasta sauces, make homemade pasta, and make homemade meatballs. By using one serving of meat with beans and veggies, Meekis-Jung was able to make two full baking dishes worth of homemade, healthy meatballs. She said these methods are better for managing what’s in your food while working within your budget.
“There’s usually a lot less sugar and a lot less salt. This way, you know exactly what’s going in to your food,” she said.
“If you can provide healthier foods for less money that is a huge stress relief for a lot of families, especially in remote northern communities where you don’t have the ability to grocery shop for fresh ingredients all the time,” she continued.
Meekis-Jung added that canned meats, fish, jams, and jellies carry a shelf life of at least a year, and they’re usually still safe to eat after that as well.
Meekis-Jung is taking her food preservation knowledge and skills to bigger platforms with conferences coming up on her schedule. She hopes to travel around and bring these workshops up north as well.
“It’s a lot of fun, and I’m starting to do this full-time. I’m speaking at a couple conferences coming up, and I hope to be able to take these workshops and travel with them and go in to our northern communities,” she concluded.
To stay updated on Meekis-Jung and her preservation methods, check out her Facebook group by searching Boreal Foodie. She plans on introducing a website soon.