the earliest methods of processing foods developed out of a direct need to assist people in surviving long winters. Because there was no chance to harvest fruits and vegetables in winter, it was important that people find a way to store enough food for the entire season. Drying and salting meats preserved it for months, as these methods removed or otherwise made unavailable the water needed by microorganisms that might spoil the food. Pickled vegetables and fruits could be stored for long periods, because the high acid content of the pickling solution killed off microorganisms. Apples packed in coal would not ripen as quickly. Smoking foods was another preservation method, because smoke contains chemicals with both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Early societies also produced and used beer, wine, and other fermented drinks as a source of nutrients, such as the juice of grapes and other fruits or honey used to make wine, and the grains used to brew beer, as well as for their medicinal and antiseptic properties.
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