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Old 10-03-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,731 posts, read 9,906,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
But in most of the US, plants (wild or not) do not grow during the winter. Nothing is in season during the winter other than perhaps some pine needle tea. Then what?

I've been studying wild edible plants for several years. But it ain't happenin' during the winter.
I guess it's hard for people living in temperate climates with extended growing seasons, like SC/SE seaboard and Southern California, etc to imagine that there are a great many places where fresh foods aren't readily available all year and places where quantity and variety are severely limited more months out of the year than they are flush.

Luckily for most people who live in places that have a hard winter (vs. a mild winter), you do have a few months with a free "freezer"... too bad most produce is harvested long before winter really sets in, so you can't freeze them immediately. At least you can time your slaughter after freeze up so you can keep meat hanging frozen through winter without requiring any fuel or power. In a world where power and/or fossil fuels get disrupted long-term, anyone relying on a refrigerator or freezer is going to get sick and starve pretty quickly if they don't have back-up renewable power and/or don't already have access to a large amount and variety of fresh produce.

Dehydration is a great preservation method, but it isn't appropriate for everything and doesn't always extend the shelf-life more than a couple months... additional steps or alternate methods may be required to preserve what grows locally long enough to get you all the way through winter and last until the first fresh harvests in your area.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:48 PM
 
Location: SC
9,101 posts, read 16,396,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Right on point

In my neck of the woods we are expecting snow this week, and temperatures down to 20 F degrees.
(kinda rough on gardens).

Once the freeze sets in, there is very little plant material available for collection and consumption. Some berries will dry on the bush, like rosehips or thornapple, you can make spruce needle tea or pine needle tea, buds and bark from quaking aspen can be eaten, but mostly, if you don't have anything preserved, (or depend on shipments from more temperate areas), the only fresh fruit you will find will be trout through the ice or maybe a grouse or pheasant.

I am no dietician, but I do look at the way the Indians lived here, and they would have sometimes have rickets and scurvey by spring because of the lack of fruits/veg if they didn't have enough dried and stored.

Mountain Men and Pioneers ran into the same problem.

Methane is a natural byproduct of normal decomposition of organic material in an anaerobic environment,(no oxygen). That is how methane gas and natural gas are made.

In this case, it seems to me that either drying or pickling would be the top choices for storage as the drying exposes the fruit to air and doesn't limit the oxygen exposure, and the acids in vinagar while excellent anti-oxidents, will also limit the growth of bacteria as well, with canning running a strong 3rd.

There used to be apples that would store in a root cellar for the winter too and be edible. Not widely available today, but may be something to look at for those who's climate will support that kind of orchard.
Nobody is arguing that Methane isn't normal but in Nature it binds to the pectin. If it has been processed it can't and just multiplies evidently.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: A Nation Possessed
25,286 posts, read 18,433,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
I guess it's hard for people living in temperate climates with extended growing seasons, like SC/SE seaboard and Southern California, etc to imagine that there are a great many places where fresh foods aren't readily available all year and places where quantity and variety are severely limited more months out of the year than they are flush.

Luckily for most people who live in places that have a hard winter (vs. a mild winter), you do have a few months with a free "freezer"... too bad most produce is harvested long before winter really sets in, so you can't freeze them immediately. At least you can time your slaughter after freeze up so you can keep meat hanging frozen through winter without requiring any fuel or power. In a world where power and/or fossil fuels get disrupted long-term, anyone relying on a refrigerator or freezer is going to get sick and starve pretty quickly if they don't have back-up renewable power and/or don't already have access to a large amount and variety of fresh produce.

Dehydration is a great preservation method, but it isn't appropriate for everything and doesn't always extend the shelf-life more than a couple months... additional steps or alternate methods may be required to preserve what grows locally long enough to get you all the way through winter and last until the first fresh harvests in your area.
Yep, and it really is a completely different set of requirements and a completely different strategy. It's not all that unlike the "why not just go to the grocery store" syndrome. Those in warmer climates have somewhat of a "grocery store" year around in that they can harvest plant foods most all year long. But we folk in the colder winter climates do not have access to that "grocery store." It closes its doors every year about right now actually (September/October), not to reopen until next year's harvest time. And unless we can get that fresh produce from the "grocery stores" down south, we're screwed as far a fresh plant-based foods.


Quote:
Originally Posted by emilybh View Post
Nobody is arguing that Methane isn't normal but in Nature it binds to the pectin. If it has been processed it can't and just multiplies evidently.
But in a survival situation (unless you live in the tropics), you are going to have two choices: either you can eat preserved food of one sort or another, or you can die. It really is that simple.

I think I'd risk the methane rather than starving to death.

Last edited by ChrisC; 10-04-2012 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
36,974 posts, read 40,935,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilybh View Post
Nobody is arguing that Methane isn't normal but in Nature it binds to the pectin. If it has been processed it can't and just multiplies evidently.
When you consume the food, you are not eating methane. When you open the container the food is in, the methane gas escapes. Gone. Pfft.

Any methane in canned and bottled foods will not hurt you. If the food is actually spoiled, do not eat it. You can get food poisoning from bacteria in spoiled food.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,731 posts, read 9,906,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilybh View Post
Nobody is arguing that Methane isn't normal but in Nature it binds to the pectin. If it has been processed it can't and just multiplies evidently.
I repeat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Seriously -- methane is a GAS. If the levels were increasing during storage you'd have jars and cans rupturing on the shelf and you certainly wouldn't have cans of food from WWI (and earlier) still hanging around to be tested by food scientists. This is basic physics... gas expansion + sealed container = POP!

<snip>

Regardless of what Mercola says in that video, what he is talking about is METHANOL, which is an alcohol; and he is referencing the study conducted by W.C. Monte PhD. In Monte's study, he also references research performed by Kirchner & Miller in 1957. Whenever anyone starts talking about canned foods causing MS, Alzheimers, autism, and autoimmune disorders, the "meth" they're talking about is methanol.

<snip>
... you only need to understand basic organic chemistry to get the gist.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Default Canning trivia

We owe the concept of canning to Napoleon, who offered a prize to whoever could develop a better way to preserve food. Of course, he was primarily interested in it for the military.

The winner canned food in class jars and developed the method before it was even known that bacteria cause food to spoil. Home canners still use the same method, though jars are sealed with metal lids and rings rather than corks and wax.

Nicolas Appert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 1968, canned food was recovered from a boat that sank in 1865. The food was analyzed in 1971.

The Canning Process: Old Preservation Technique Goes Modern (September 1990)

"Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier."

Current military rations are rated up to about a ten year shelf life. Higher environmental heat may shorten it. However, that is because of loss of flavor, not because the meals are unsafe to eat. My husband ate rations during the Vietnam War that were produced in the early 1950s.

There is no evidence that "methane" - methanol - in canned or bottled foods makes them unsafe to eat. The US government has already done a large scaled experiment feeding soldiers that shows that is true.

Last edited by suzy_q2010; 10-05-2012 at 12:22 PM.. Reason: for clarification.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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In order for pectin and cellulose (polysaccharides) to be converted to methane (gas), fermentation/metabolism/catabolism (i.e. "digestion") by bacteria must occur.

Chemistry (of biogas/methane production)
Microbiology (of biogas/methane production)

Heat treating during the canning process kills bacteria. Boiling Water Bath Canners reach 212F/100C and Pressure Canners reach 240F/115C

National Center for Home Food Preservation | How Do I? Can

Methanogenic bacteria responsible for methane production in anaerobic conditions (such as cans and jars) survive in temperatures between 68F/20C and 208F/98C... ergo, methane producing bacteria are destroyed during the canning process.

A comprehensive study into the molecular methodology and molecular biology of methanogenic Archaea - Lange - 2006 - FEMS Microbiology Reviews - Wiley Online Library

Last edited by MissingAll4Seasons; 10-05-2012 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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Now -- methane gas (CH4) is converted into liquid methanol (CH3OH) by first converting the methane to carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2) and molecular hydrogen (H2) using steam (heated H2O) via the Syngas Method

CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2

More hydrogen can be generated from that carbon monoxide (CO) with more steam
CO + H2O → CO2 + H2

So, now you have a bunch of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen that can be converted to methanol with the aid of a catalyst (normally a metal like copper or zinc -- not part of the reaction, just a helper):

CO + 2 H2 → CH3OH (one molecule of methanol)
or CO2 + 3 H2 → CH3OH + H2O (one molecule of methanol and one molecule of water)

Because the canning process produces steam, and the ripe fruit/veg naturally produces some methane, and copper and zinc are common minerals found in food... it is possible for a small amount of methanol to be produced above that naturally occuring in pectin/cellulose bearing fruit & veg. BUT this would only occur during the canning process (especially under pressure), or as a result of some other catalytic conversion inside the sealed container.

Something forcing an energy transfer must occur to break and reform molecular bonds in a closed container with reduced biological action... just sitting on a room temp shelf isn't going to do it in this case. Which is evidenced by the fact that newly canned peaches and 100 yo canned peaches have virtually identical methanol levels, the same proportionately higher amount than the fresh peaches... which could be explained by the heat-induced methane → methanol conversion process.

If anything... methane is consumed during and prohibited as a result of the heat treatment canning process.

Organic Chemistry is your friend
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:31 PM
 
20,572 posts, read 19,230,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
Seriously -- methane is a GAS. If the levels were increasing during storage you'd have jars and cans rupturing on the shelf and you certainly wouldn't have cans of food from WWI (and earlier) still hanging around to be tested by food scientists. This is basic physics... gas expansion + sealed container = POP!

Methane is produced by bacteria during digestion in anaerobic conditions. Yes, a sealed jar or can is (or should be) anaerobic... but if it was properly canned or bottled, it was also heat treated, which destroys these bacteria. Thermal kill of these decomposing bacteria and other pathogens is the whole reason we can things in the first place.

Regardless of what Mercola says in that video, what he is talking about is METHANOL, which is an alcohol; and he is referencing the study conducted by W.C. Monte PhD. In Monte's study, he also references research performed by Kirchner & Miller in 1957. Whenever anyone starts talking about canned foods causing MS, Alzheimers, autism, and autoimmune disorders, the "meth" they're talking about is methanol.

I would suggest anyone who is concerned about this to read the studies themselves, not rely on someone's interpretation of the data. While the actual reports are a little technical in places, you only need to understand basic organic chemistry to get the gist.

Well now then I guess I have to just enjoy my wine and hard cider that much more then. We have been putting lids on fruit for eons. We call it cider.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Penna
726 posts, read 1,223,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I am a proud producer of American methane! Allow me to raise a home-grown American methane salute to this "controversy"
Y u ole fart.
Hope u take that as it was intended.
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