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Survival expert shares ancient hack for naturally preserving food: 'It's been used for thousands of years'

"It's a great way to save food for the winter."

"It's a great way to save food for the winter."

Photo Credit: TikTok

One of the best things you can do to live sustainably is save food for later use. Learning ways to effectively preserve your food can not only help save you money, but it can also reduce food waste. 

There are many methods to save food, but TikToker thebearessentials.clip (@thebearessentials.clip) posted a video describing a traditional yet forgotten method to store vegetables that was originally shared by fellow survivalist SageSmokeSurvival (@sagesmokesurvival). 

The scoop

To unlock the potential of this hack, all you need is some sunlight, a breeze, and your favorite vegetables. In the video, the TikToker demonstrates the hack using summer squash, pumpkin, and peppers.

@thebearessentials.clip Survival bushcraft skills #bushcraft #survival #camping #lifehacks #outdoors #forest ♬ nhạc nền - thebearessentials.clip

All you do is slice the vegetables into discs and poke a hole through the center. You can then take these vegetable slices and string them together. 

"I like to use natural fiber string so I'm not getting microplastics in my food," he explained. 

Once you have all your vegetables on a string, you can hang them up with some space between each slice so they air dry. You will know they are fully dehydrated "when they crack when you bend them," which is typically in a couple of days.

When they're ready, you can package them in airtight containers. "It's a great way to save food for the winter, and it's been used for thousands of years," he said.

How it's helping

This hack is beneficial to your wallet and the planet. By air-drying vegetables, you not only extend their shelf life but also reduce the need for methods that use a lot of energy, such as freezing and canning. Additionally, this hack minimizes food waste, which is a significant contributor to environmental issues. 

A similar hack for storing fresh produce includes wrapping leafy greens in a dry cloth or paper towel and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge to help them stay crisp. Berries can be kept in mason jars to avoid mold, and carrots stay crunchy when submerged in water. For your freezer, another TikToker suggested using glass containers to store food. Just remember to freeze first, then put the lid on to avoid breakage due to expansion.

What everyone's saying

One commenter who tried the hack had great success: "I did this with peppers after seeing another of your videos. Worked great! No flies. Strung them in an open, full sun area."

Many commenters were concerned about leaving their produce where animals or bugs could get to it, citing concerns about deer, dogs, cats, flies, and birds. To avoid these issues, people suggested solutions including using a wired cage or dehydrator box. Others suggested going indoors but near a window.

"My granny used to use the screen wire front window," a commenter wrote.

Many users seemed to be open to making adjustments to use the hack so they could store dehydrated food. As one commenter said, "Dehydrated food is lighter to transport & less space to store."

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