Food Storage through the Years
Contributed by RL
Since Adam and Eve, there has been a constant effort to make life better and richer here on this earth for our children. One of the first things that made life better was to preserve food for later use. This helped us to have food year round not just in the plenty of harvest or when one was able to hunt and find food. As families grew the roaming life became harder to maintain so families started to stay in one place, creating communities. (https://infolific.com/leisure/wilderness-survival/ancient-storage-techniques/)
In these communities they learned to plant and harvest foods and the preserving of seeds for the coming year. Of course grains became a vital part of the food supply because of grain's ease to store, plant and use. Wheat became known as the staff of life for its ability to regenerate itself and versatility to make breads, cereals and sprouts that can be used year round.
From the beginning of time we have been inspired to learn how to dry, bottle, can, freeze, cure, pickle and package food for long-term storage for our use and at later times during times of plenty. To help us during these times of unrest, disaster, sickness or for those times when there is just not enough to go around. Even now in modern times we store our finances during times of plenty for use when we get laid off or have economic stress when our financial needs are more than what we are making to cover the expenses. Yes, food storage has been around a long time. (https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/food_pres_hist.html)
We can look back through history and discover that this has been going on from one generation to another as in the example of Pharaoh who was warned in a dream of 7 years of plenty to be followed by 7 years of drought by a merciful God to preserve the people. Pharaoh was so troubled by the dream that he had Joseph, a foreigner to the land; provide a plan to preserve and store grains for the coming drought saving many lives.
Of course today we are able to store far more food items giving us a better diet in our lives, by adding fruits and vegetables, which provide a fuller variety of flavor so we do not get that “not oatmeal again” syndrome. The need for storing food has not changed with time. In our modern times we have grocery stores that dot the land and even food delivered by mail, FedEx or UPS right to our doors. Food supplies, though, can be emptied in a matter of hours when people hear of a coming disaster or emergency. (https://www.history.com/news/what-it-says-on-the-tin-a-brief-history-of-canned-food)
These modern conveniences happen because we have great transportation systems and packaging that allows for stable temperatures and protection of food items while they are being moved from one place to another. Also our food can come from anywhere in the world taking advantage of harvest time year round. This works wonderful as long as transportation is able to do its job and road ways and water ways are clear to move the products safely and freely or there is enough fuel to make it all happen. Of course different countries have different farming practices than those here in America but the product still has to meet the regulations of the agriculture departments in whatever country the products are sent.
Probably one of the greatest adventures of food and in all of its travels around the world since its first voyage across the seven seas is going into space. The first astronauts did not have it so great with their cuisine or those sailors in those early days of shipping either, but the food fair has become far better with time. New packaging that allows for long-term food storage has brought a new outlook for those who venture to the stars or across the world. (https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/apollo-to-the-moon/online/astronaut-life/food-in-space.cfm)
Clearly in these times we can also see the need for long-term food storage for us and our families. With packaged food units available for long-term food storage for each of us today we have a much better choice to be prepared than in the days of Pharaoh. The news media shows us a constant stream of winter storms, oceans breaking beyond their bounds, mudslides, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. We feel for those who lift their heads and again begin anew after the devastation brought by these natural disasters. Hopefully we are all prepared with food storage when hard times come into our lives.
Each of us can get involved with our food storage needs today by using our gardens and the harvest by drying; freeze drying, canning and preserving our own products that we raise. (https://food.unl.edu/food-storage) We can also buy food from local farmer’s markets and preserve for us and our families the foods that we love to eat. I have a grandson and I can tell you if he does not want to eat something he won’t, so only store those items that you like to eat not the things that you really don’t want to eat (they probably cost less) because you will not like it any better later than you do now.
Well, do I remember the old movie “Gone with the Wind” when, after losing everything, Scarlett holds in her hands the last of what is left from the garden which she had pulled from the ground, using her bare hands, the only thing left of the vast estate that was edible then raising her hand to the sky swearing that she and the family would never go hungry again. Hopefully we can plan ahead and be prepared for those emergencies that may occur in our lives and even for those that we don’t see. ‘Till next time RL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind_%28film%29)