Food Preservation Basics – Make Food Last Longer

| July 31, 2013 |

preservation vegetables upon doomsday




In our modern world, most people don’t even think about food preservation – it’s simply a given. However, we preserve our food to unnatural lengths every day with additives, refrigeration, freezing, and canning. It’s a testament to how important preserving food is that we still use it today, because many methods we use today have been used for thousands of years, and have only been tweaked and tested for efficiency to bring them into modernity. Take freezing food, for example. Cave men were the first to freeze food when they realized that laying fish and other game out on slabs of ice would prevent them from rotting for a short time. Meats have been preserved via salting for centuries, and dehydration, or the drying of food, has kept fruits and the like from spoiling since medieval times.

Today, there aren’t many immediately apparent advantages to knowing how to preserve foods. However, for a survivalist this skill is still of the utmost importance; the same goes for anyone in a high risk area for natural disasters which may require one to fend for oneself without modern accommodations for some length of time. So, let’s run through some basic preservation techniques.
Say you’ve hunted an animal and want to preserve its meat so that you have more than a few hours to eat it. The only things you need are the meat itself, coarse salt, and a container of some sort (or at least an enclosed space). Simply cut the meat into pieces, then cover every side in salt. The salt is going to draw the moisture out, creating a water free environment in which bacteria cannot grow. However, while the salt takes effect, the meat can still rot, thus the need for a container. If you’re in a cold environment, this won’t be as much of an issue, but in most cases you’ll want to place the meat in a container and seal it. Keep your meat as cold as possible while it is salting. As long as there is no rotting during the salting process, the meat can last for years after being dehydrated.

Pickling is a similar technique, but today is really only used for actual pickles (cucumbers). However, fruit and other vegetables can be preserved much in the same way. This technique is very easy: Simply place the vegetable in a container containing 10 percent salt water brine for 3-7 days. After this period, rinse the item being preserved and store it in a sealed container filled with vinegar. As this point, your food will last for literally years if kept closed. This is an easy method of preservation and is still as effective today as hundreds of years ago.

These are the primary methods of preservation you’re going to be able to use if you find yourself in a situation in which you have no power or means of freezing food. Depending on what you pack, these methods can also be used in the wild to make one catch last for many meals. If you are near the sea, packing a small container of vinegar would give you a complete system to preserving food along with the easy access to saltwater.

Category: Food And Water, How To Guides

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