Using Three Simple Old Fashioned Methods
Food Safety Precaution BASICS
1. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any type of food.
2. Rinse the raw food thoroughly before processing and storing it.
3. Use clean food processing equipment.
4. Always wash the utensils before using them on a different food item to prevent a problem of cross-contamination.
5. Use clean storage containers.
6. Examine the food carefully and discard any food that has mold or bruises or slime or insects or other problems.
7. The shelf life of the food will not be extended forever, but it can be increased by a few weeks to a few months (or longer depending on the food item and the preservation method).
The Three Traditional Food Preservation Methods
These 3 simple ways preserve food using old fashioned techniques do not require the use of any special chemicals, salt or equipment:
1. In the ground.
2. In a root cellar.
1. In the Ground
(Appropriate for Carrots and Radishes in the Fall)
Leave the vegetables in the original ground where they grew during the summer.
This technique works well with carrots and radishes.
Mulch the ground above the vegetables with a thick layer of straw.
However, if the weather has not yet turned cold and you leave radishes in the ground then they will go to seed.
2. In a Root Cellar
(Appropriate for Some Vegetables and Some Fruits)
A root cellar is a cool dry dark place underground where the temperature remains between 40°F to 60°F (or 4°C to 15°C).
1. The depth of the root cellar below ground will vary between 1 to 3 feet depending on the frost line in the area where you live. The frost line is how deep the ground freezes in winter.
2. Humidity must be controlled.
3. Insects and rodents must be kept out.
A simple root cellar can be made from a clean empty food grade 55 gallon drum. Plant the drum sideways below ground under at least 12 inches of dirt. Put the food in the drum and then attach the drum lid. Shovel some dirt against the lid to keep it cool inside the drum. The drum will stay cool and it will keep out the air and insects and rodents. Do not place the fruit or vegetables directly against the sides of the drum. Instead store the fruit or vegetables inside wood boxes inside the drum.
Apples, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes release ethylene gas while in storage and this gas will cause other foods to ripen and spoil more rapidly. Therefore they should be stored by themselves and not with other foods.