Store vitamin tablets
Fruits and veggies contain two really important vitamins not found in foods recommended in basic food storage — C and A. Some pioneers died at Winter Quarters during the winter from what they called “black leg,” also known as “scurvy,” caused by a lack of vitamin C. Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system, preventing infectious diseases and vision problems and promotes bone growth.
If you store only the bare basics, grains and beans, consider storing vitamin pills, or at the very least vitamin C pills, which keep much of their potency for more than 20 years. Sprouting wheat and beans does produce small amounts of vitamin C and A, but most people do not realize that you would need five cups of sprouted beans a day for enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy. That’s a LOT of sprouts!
Having a source of vitamin C can even be a matter of life and death.
Store canned vegetables and fruit
Some people worry about the nutrition in canned foods. A study by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition conducted in 1997 showed that canned fruits and vegetables are nutritionally comparable to fresh or frozen. By the time fresh foods are picked before they are ripe, spend 7 to 14 days being transported and then a few days in the display case at the store, nutrients are lost. Canned foods are canned at the peak of their quality. Improved processing today causes minor nutrient losses, however, these are similar to the losses any time fresh foods are cooked for meals.
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The above tips are from Leslie Probert’s blog, Food Storage Essentials, in the June 4 edition of the Mormon Times. See a list of her weekly articles here.