What Are the 3 Ways People Would Preserve Food in Ancient Times?

Food preservation is an essential aspect of human survival. In ancient times, people used various methods to preserve food for long periods. Let’s take a look at the top three ways that people in ancient times used to preserve their food.

1. Drying

Drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. It involves removing moisture from the food item, which slows down the growth of bacteria and mold that cause spoilage.

How did they do it?

People in ancient times would dry their food by exposing it to sunlight or wind. They would cut fruits and vegetables into thin slices and lay them out on mats or flat rocks under the sun until they are completely dry. Meat, on the other hand, was either hung in a well-ventilated area or laid out on a flat surface to dry.

The Benefits of Drying

Drying was popular because it had several advantages over other preservation methods. It was easy to do, required no special equipment, and did not alter the flavor of the food item.

2. Salting

Salting is another ancient method used to preserve food. It involves covering or soaking the food item in salt, which draws out moisture from it and inhibits bacterial growth.

In ancient times, people would cover meat, fish, and even fruits with salt to preserve them. They would also soak vegetables in brine (saltwater solution) to keep them fresh for longer periods.

The Benefits of Salting

Salting was popular because it allowed people to preserve large quantities of food at one time without refrigeration. It also added flavor to the preserved items and made them more palatable.

3. Fermenting

Fermenting is a process that involves converting carbohydrates into alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria. It was a popular method of preservation in ancient times.

In ancient times, people would place food items such as cabbage, cucumbers, and even meat in a brine solution and let them ferment for several days. The process of fermentation would create lactic acid, which acted as a natural preservative.

The Benefits of Fermenting

Fermenting was popular because it not only preserved the food item but also enhanced its flavor. It was also an excellent way to add beneficial bacteria to the body, which aided digestion.


In conclusion, people in ancient times used various methods to preserve their food. Drying, salting, and fermenting were the three most popular methods used.

These methods allowed people to store food for long periods without refrigeration and ensured that they had enough to eat during lean times. While these methods may seem outdated today, they paved the way for modern preservation techniques that we use today.