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Making Pemmican with Dave Canterbury

Making pemmican can fit the bill whether you are looking to practice an ancient skill or put up some food for your next trip.

Food. We often take for granted the quantity and quality of food we have available at our fingertips. Today we spend a smaller portion of our income and have access to a greater variety of food than ever before. While this trend is great for feeding people and saving money, it has created a bit of a disconnect between people and their food. Lots of people out there could care less what a potato looks like, or where it comes from. They simply have too much going on in life to give a darn. For others though, food can open doors to the past and a better understanding of what it takes to stay alive.

One way people have used food to discover the past is by experimenting with old recipes and forgotten foods. In the past each region of the world typically had their own unique recipes and storage techniques to make the most of their food stores. One traditional recipe people are experimenting with is pemmican. Making pemmican is a very simple process and can be easily learned.

Watch this video put together by survivor specialist Dave Canterbury on making pemmican.

As you can see making pemmican is a very simple process. All you need is a little dried meat and some rendered tallow to make this ancient food come to life.

When you really sit down and think about pemmican, it is easy to see why it was so widely used in the past. For starters, it contained one ingredient vital to survival; fat. In our modern world fat is too easily consumed. In the past folks had the exact opposite problem. Fat was had to come by, so any source of fat was utilized.

The gent featured in the video also mentioned pemmican was often mixed with whatever forage was available on the trail. By adding a few nuts or berries you increase the available vitamins your body needs, including the ultra important Vitamin C.

Finally, pemmican was such a widely used food resource because of its storage ability. It wasn’t until 1911 the first home refrigerator was invented, and before that storing food was a major challenge. Pemmican can last for weeks, months, even years. That type of storage potential was a huge plus for people who needed to store food up for a long winter.

Making pemmican can not only provide good food while out on the trail, but it can connect you with past skills and knowledge. Anytime you sit down and practice skills like this you can’t help but imagine the lives of ancient people who performed them everyday. By better understanding the lives of past people, we can get a better sense of how truly abundant our modern life is and what human life has been like in the past.

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Making Pemmican with Dave Canterbury