Have you ever eaten spam? It is leading the way in creating a new food form called ‘fossil’ food.
Spam is a tinned precooked meat first introduced in 1937 in the US. It gained popularity during World War II and is unique for its incredibly long shelf life. The expiry date on the tin is usually two years but this is only to keep the product turning over rather than a true reflection of its use-by date. Evidently its real shelf life is 12 to 15 years.
The philosophy behind the long life of Spam is behind this new movement to create ‘fossil’ foods. Napoleon’s need to find a ready supply of long-lasting food to feed his army ie canning changed the food industry but now scientists are looking at the next level of food preservation beyond salting and freezing.
One next development is high pressure food processing (HPP)which pulverises bacteria and is already used for meats instead of some chemicals in the food industry. The ad-vantage of HPP is that it does not significantly affect the flavour and nutritional value of foods.
Imagine what we could do with nutritionally sound food products that last 3 to 5 years without refrigeration. The potential for creating safe and stable world food supplies is enormous especially for periods of famine, disasters and energy failures.
Roz Townsend www.roztownsend.com
To read more of these ideas see Roz’s latest book Future Words available on Amazon
The Sun-Herald 26 October 2014
Hungry for an aged sammie by Caterine Armitage