Ancient Food Storage
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Ancient Food Storage
I discovered that safe food storage is possible even without fridges and freezers. In the late 1800s, for example, people would typically store their food in a root cellar. Cellars were the coolest part of the house, so food would keep for longer down there.
Different foods require different conditions for safe storage, but most foods tend to fare best in cool, dry places. Foods like bread, for instance, were often wrapped in cloth, placed in containers, or stored on racks that hung from the ceiling. This helped to keep rodents and other pests away.
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Additionally, special containers called crocks were manufactured in North America as early as the 1700s. They were made from baked clay, and were used for long-term food storage. These crocks were especially useful for storing salted meat as described below.
Meat products, were prepared in such a way that they would keep for a relatively long period of time. Smokehouses were common, and used to preserve smoked bacon and hams, as well as smoked venison and smoked turkey. Other meats were preserved by layering the meat with salt in crocks. Jerking was also another ancient food storage method of preserving meat.
Lastly, ice boxes were extremely popular back before fridges and freezers existed. An icebox is exactly what it sounds like a box or container that you fill with ice, and then store your food in. The ice was usually cut in blocks from a frozen lake or pond during the winter and stored in underground caverns and covered with straw.
None of these methods of ancient food storage sound as convenient or effective as a refrigerator, but back then it was better than nothing! In the event of a survival situation its possible that knowing some of these methods could mean a real difference to ones ability to survive hunger.
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