Food preservation is as old as human civilization. Preservation of foods inhibits spoilage cause by bacterial growth, oxidation, insects or desiccation. Fermentation, oil packing, pickling, salting, and smoking are all ancient preservation technologies.
The earliest recorded instances of food preservation date back to ancient Egypt and the drying of grains and subsequent storage in seal silos. People in many parts of the world developed techniques for drying and smoking foods as far as 6000 BC. Ancient Mesoamericans used salt as a preservative for trade in fish and other food stuff over long distances, as well as for storing food for long periods of time. The Chinese reportedly preserved vegetables by fermentation in prehistoric times and Plinius preserved white cabbage in earthenware pots in Italy in the first century AD.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is an excellent source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation
Food Preservation Articles
The Complete Guide to Food Preservation: Step-by-step Instructions on How to Freeze, Dry, Can, and Preserve Food (Back to Basics Cooking)
By Angela Williams Duea
This book will show anyone interested in storing food for future use how to do so to optimize the amount of money saved and minimize the risk of damaging food or spreading food borne illnesses. Llearn the various methods of freezing,, canning and preserving, how to create jellies and jams, pickle vegetables and fruits, dry foods, juice them after storing, and even how to create a simple root cellar for long term storage.
Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
By The Gardeners and Farmers of Centre Terre Vivante, Deborah Madison and Eliot Coleman
Here is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating traditional but little-known techniques for storing and preserving edibles in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition. Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning offers more than 250 easy and enjoyable recipes featuring locally grown and minimally refined ingredients. It is an essential guide for those who seek healthy food for a healthy world.
The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home: Easy Instructions for Canning, Freezing, Drying, Brining, and Root Cellaring Your Favorite Fruits, Herbs and Vegetables
By Janet Chadwick
Organized in a friendly, food-by-food format, readers will find freezing, drying, canning, and storing instructions for each vegetable, fruit, and herb. These are the quickest, most efficient methods for preserving summer's bounty. Up-to-date information and clear, step-by-step instructions show even absolute beginners the way to a fully stocked pantry.
The ABC's of Home Food Dehydration
By Barbara Densley
Every important facet of home food dehydrating is covered in this handy reference volume, which provides directions for making dozens of thrifty, healthy, do-it-yourself meals and covenience foods. Pre-treatments and preparation of fruits, vegetables, herbs and meats are outlined in orderly detail, followed by useful dryness testing information and guidance on labeling, packaging and optimum storage conditions. A rehydration section, with food items listed in alphabetical order, gives quick and easy reference and recipes