Preserving food is a daily issue for most people. Whether you can only go shopping once a week or you tend to buy more perishable items then storing those items can be difficult. There are a few rules to preserving food as a whole that always apply and they are freezing, drying and pickling. In general if you are looking to preserve fish, meat or other immediately perishable items then you should look to freeze them, this is the easiest, quickest way that lasts the longest. It is essential though that they are frozen as quickly as possible and are never allowed to thaw and then re-frozen again. In both circumstances you will be flirting with danger.
If you are looking for more of a long term solution on how to store items i.e. many years rather than many months then you will have to look at either drying items out, picking them (in the case of vegetables and eggs) or sealing them in an air tight container, also known as vacuum packing. These methods are favoured by ‘doomsday preppers’ who are looking to store food for years in the event that a catastrophic world event ocurrs where they will need to head to their bunker. When you are undertaking the process of preserving food one of the key bits is to make sure that everything is well packaged in plastic boxes like those provided by Solent Plastics and also to label them. Ensure the label has what is contained in the box, the date it was prepared and the date it should be eaten by, that way you are never in any doubt.
Packaging your items up to protect them is as important as preserving them in the first place. What is the point in spending all your time preserving items if they are just going to get squashed and ruined in storage? Plastic boxes that stack on top of each other can be very useful for dried items, if you are picking however then you’ll want some air tight, screw top jars to hold your products in. Vacuum packed items can also be kept in boxes.
One of the earliest uses of spice was actually to preserve meat, they would cover large chunks of meat in a great deal of spice which would protect the outside of the meat from the air and get rid of any animals that came near it. This works just as well nowadays but isn’t really favoured by many people as they don’t necessarily always want very spicy meat, still its an interesting origin!