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Food Safety & Preservation

Latest food safety and preservation information from Cook County Extension

Food Preservation History

Posted by Ron Wolford -

The astonishing fact about food preservation is that it permeated every culture at nearly every moment in time. To survive ancient man had to harness nature. In frozen climates he froze seal meat on the ice. In tropical climates he dried foods in the sun.

Food by its nature begins to spoil the moment it is harvested. Food preservation enabled ancient man to make roots and live in one place and form a community. He no longer had to consume the kill or harvest immediately, but could preserve some for later use. Each culture preserved their local food sources using the same basic methods of food preservation.


Source: Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D.
National Center for Home Food Preservation
May 2002

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