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    When potential clients ask me to design power systems for them, one of the biggest power users is food refrigeration. That in turn led me to ruminate on how we store foods. Today we all take for granted the freezer or refrigeratior is the primary food storage method. Followed by canning. A quick read of factory canned foods reveal a huge percentage of sodium – a food preservative. surely there has to be a better way.

    Hardly anyone uses a root cellar these dqays. Even cheeses are stored in the ‘fridge. How many of the readers are familiar with cheese wheels that could keep a cheese fresh for months. Cruising sailors used to pack cheese wheels and vaseline coated eggs that kept fresh for several months. This was as recently as the sixties when refrigeration for cruising boats was almost non existent except for the very rich on big boats. Other storage methods include pickling, smoking and salting. For obvious reasons the salting fell out of favour when medical research linked salt and high blood pressure. Jerky is still sold in stores but pemmincan making is almost a lost art. These wer the food preservation techniques of yesteryear but some lend themselves to off-grid living because they do not rely on electricity and can store food for long periods of time.

    I recently conducted a study at a large supermarket. Invariably most products were labelled refrigerate after opening and some clearly said refrigerat no matter what.

    I realize the idea of going off-grid implies avoiding use of electric appliances. However something like a food dryer and a vacuum bagger seem to me as being a beneficial use of limited electrical power. The vacuum bag device does not use a lot of energy but allows you to seal food stuffs in a vacuum.

    A cheese wheel is a round cake of cheese sealed in a thick coat of wax. typically the round block also had a thick skin formed by the cheese before the wax coating was applied by dipping. Anybody else have idea for non refrigeration food storage?


    When I was 8 my father bought a cottage that had a

    main cottage, 2 rentals, an old store and an old ice hut where

    they would cut ice out of the lake, pack it straw and sell it

    all summer. I have no idea the last time it had been used

    but the second summer we were there we tore the ice hut down

    it turns out what we thought was a floor was really ice and

    it went down 2 feet below the ground level. I know the ice

    had survived 2 years for sure and I don’t know how many


    Well it’s not non-refrigerated food storage but it was free


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