During an emergency, you will probably end up scavenging for food items. The problem is, unlike normal times where your fridge is working, you can’t count on electrical power. In many cases, you probably will lack electricity for several days or even several weeks. If you’re really unlucky, you might not have access to electricity for several months. In such a situation, it’s a good idea to learn how to preserve your food. There are four ways to preserve food. Unfortunately, these methods may not be optimal for you. Pick the preservation method that works best in your part of the Unites States.
If you live in the northern regions of the United States, and it’s the autumn, fall or winter season, freezing or cooling is a good way to preserve food. Native Americans froze their food fairly easily. They simply butchered hunted animals and exposed the strips of meat to the cold air. This is how beef jerky was invented. If you live in a part of the United States where there is a lot of snow, freezing is fairly simple and easy to do. However, if it isn’t cold enough outside, you need quite a bit of water to cool the food sufficiently so as to preserve it.
Another good way to preserve food is to can it. Again, this may not be feasible if you don’t have the proper environmental temperature and equipment. Canning, just by its name, requires some canning equipment. You can use either jars or cans. Assuming you have the equipment, you need to put the food in the container and heat it sufficiently to destroy the microorganisms in the food. You then seal the can or seal the container to deprive it of air and moisture. If the container is properly sealed, and moisture and air don’t seep in, your food will be preserved. It’s also important to make sure that the cans or jars are stored in a cool, dark and dry place.
If you live in the sunnier parts of the United States like Florida, Hawaii or the American Southwest, dehydration might be the best food preservation method for you. You only need to lay out your food on a flat surface and give it enough sunlight for several days. The key here is to let the sunlight dry out the moisture so that the food can last for a much longer time. If you have access to the proper equipment, you might want to smoke your food and decrease its moisture level that way. If you have a solar powered electric dehydrator, this might provide a great way to dehydrate and preserve your food.
Depending on the type of food you are trying to preserve, fermentation might be the way to go. For example, if you have access to milk, you can turn it into cheese. Of course, you need a rennet to pull this off. Koreans have been preserving cabbage in the form of kimchi, and kimchi can last for several months. Again, fermentation is a good option, but it depends on the food item you’re preserving and your supply of ingredients needed for the fermentation process. Typically, sugar or probiotic starter compounds are needed to get the fermentation process going. Fermentation changes the internal chemistry of the food item and converts a lot of its starch component into food preserving organic chemical compounds.
Read more about the food preservation right here.