If you have ever left fruit sitting too long on your kitchen table, then this post if for you. Too often we spend our hard earned money on fruit, vegetables, or meat, only to end up being too busy to get around to eating them. Upset, we grab the closest junk food, putting off eating healthy, fresh, food another day. Discover what even our earliest ancestors knew: that it is simple to preserve fruit, vegetables, and meat in a food dehydrator.
Believe it or not, we can learn a lot from our ancestors when it comes to healthy eating. It’s incredible to think about that societies from all over the world, as far back as prehistory, have used food preservation techniques. When it takes you several days to track and hunt a buffalo, or you spend dozens of hours collecting fruit and vegetables, you can’t risk having your food spoil and get rotten. In fact, food begins to spoil from the moment it is picked from the plant, or brought to the butcher.
So our earliest ancestors all discovered something that is becoming more and more popular in today’s society: food preservation.
In frozen climates they froze meat in ice. In tropical climates, he dried foods in the sun. This allowed our ancestors to store and preserve food for later meals. Some people pickled their vegetables, others cured. Trying to preserve foods even led to the discovery of alcohol fermentation for consumption!
Dried Foods History
It has long been accepted that countries in Europe, Middle East and Asia dried everything from beef, pork, fruits, herbs, vegetables, and even squid and octopus – as early as 12,000 B.C., under the hot sun. In Rome, the winters brought decreased sunlight, and colder temperatures, thus the origin of the first food dryer technology was created. Special rooms were built in the Middle Ages were created to dry foods in the winter months. A small, controlled fire would be burned to produce the heat necessary to dry foods – and in some cases – even smoked their meat! The act of drying food allowed people to eat fresh healthy food even through droughts or hardships.
What Was Discovered By Dehydrating Food?
So what exactly was the science of drying foods well-known since antiquity? Think for a moment what the word “Dehydrator” means. Images of summer newspapers with titles warning you to stay hydrated in the summer heat to avoid heatstroke and dehydration probably arise in your mind. In the summer, we can become dehydrated by losing water through sweating. Since fruits, vegetables, and beef don’t sweat, you need a food dehydrator to remove the water from food.
Most food is about 70-90% water. Normally, this isn’t a problem if you pick your apples every morning. However, if you are like most of society, you don’t have time to make it to the farm every day. That excess water sitting in your fruit and meat is a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. By removing the water, you remove the potential for bacteria to grow, thus allowing your food to stay fresher, MUCH longer. Allow me to repeat if you missed it: A food dehydrator extends the quality of food.
Modern Day Food Dehydrators
We’ve come a long way from leaving meat in the open-air sun. Modern day food dehydrators are a great combination of technology and tradition. Fruits and vegetables today are dehydrated from 130°F, or 54°C, and meats at a higher temperature of 155°F, or 68°C. These are the ideal temperatures to dry food to maintain quality and keep freshness.
The two important parts of using a food dehydrator successful are a constant high temperature to remove water, and an air flow to remove the evaporated steam. If the temperature is set too high, then the food can harden on the outside, while remaining moist on the inside, which puts you at risk for spoiling the food
From ancient times to modern times, preserving food through dehydration is a great way to keep food fresh, preserved, and healthy.