This section is from the book "Save It For Winter.", by Frederick Fry Rockwell. Also available from Amazon: Save It For Winter; Modern Methods Of Canning, Dehydrating, Preserving And Storing Vegetables And Fruit For Winter Use, With Comments On The Best ... For Saving, And When And How To Grow Them.
Does it pay to save summer foodstuffs - vegetables and fruits-for Winter?
Does it really pay to do it - or has all the recent agitation for the canning and drying of vegetables and fruits been merely a war measure made necessary by the unusual conditions which exist throughout the world and therefore of little importance once the great conflict ends?
To any one who has had much experience with the real modern methods of keeping food for future use there can be no doubt that it does pay, and pay handsomely. The new methods require very much less time and involve much less work than those which have been in general use up to the present time.
The practice of both canning and drying has been practically revolutionized within the last few years. The new methods compared with those formerly in vogue are so simple that many persons have been inclined to doubt their efficacy until they became convinced by actual trial. The saving of food by these methods does pay even those who are located in cities and have not the facilities for producing the vegetables and fruit they can so easily save for winter.
Saving food for winter pays because it prevents waste. The surplus from the home garden, or the cheap products of a glutted summer market, may be kept for the time when vegetable food is scarce and high in price.
Saving food for winter pays because it enables you to make use of your garden, if you have one, to help support your family during twelve months of the year instead of only six or seven. The commonly held idea that these methods of saving foodstuff apply wholly or chiefly to surplus garden products is erroneous. To take full advantage of the benefits which food-saving makes available one should grow crops especially for this purpose. This not only makes the work easier but permits making the most profitable second use of the ground occupied by the summer garden and allows one to plan systematically for the winter's requirements instead of just having what is "left over" from the summer garden.
Saving food for winter pays because it furnishes a healthier diet. Home saved products, if carefully prepared, will be better than those which you are likely to be able to buy, and so much cheaper that a greater proportion of them in the daily menu will be used. we Americans have been, next to the Australians, the greatest meat eaters in the world -not because so much meat constituted a healthy diet but because, owing to our prairie ranges and other cheap sources of production, meat was more inexpensive to get and easier to procure and prepare than vegetables. Times have changed; meat in Amer ica, in comparison with vegetable products, will never be so cheap again. Those who prepare to take advantage of the cheap vegetable supplies of summer, whether bought or home grown, will be on the road to more hygienic as well as more economical living.
Saving food for winter pays because the actual expense of preparing and keeping vegetable food for this purpose has been greatly decreased by the new method, in spite of the higher prices of many of the things used. Dehydrated vegetables of many kinds will largely take the place of canned vegetables. This means a tremendous saving in the cost of containers and in the amount of space required to keep the products. Improved utensils have cut down the labor required in preparing and putting up the food. The percentage of food lost by "spoiling" has been cut from a very considerable amount to almost nothing.
And, above all, saving food for winter will pay, while the world-wide holocaust of the present war continues, with its consequent bringing of famine conditions to millions of people, because it is a duty to one's country, to humanity in general, which cannot with a clear conscience be shirked. Inasmuch as you can save food, even though it be but a single pound, you have contributed directly to the well-being of one of the starving fellow-citizens of the world!