Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to prevent scurvy

A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in Nebraska.  I stopped by the Mormon Winter Quarters visitor center.  If you didn't know, the Mormons blazed a trail (Mormon Trail) from east of the Mississippi all the way out to Utah.  They made camp for the winter near modern day Omaha, before setting out in the spring.  During that winter, many people died of scurvy- mostly children.

After learning this, I wanted to find out more about scurvy- I knew you could prevent it by eating Vitamin C- and that sailors would eat lemons and limes to ward off the disease.  But what did the folks without access to vitamins and citrus fruits eat?  I did a quick search and discovered that tomatoes, potatoes, and many other foods (including meat) contain relatively high levels of C.  But potatoes are pretty much the only plant that is sustainable in most area in the winter.  So, that is just one more reason to plant potatoes in your garden and lay them up over the winter.

If you don't already have a source for potatoes, you can order them at Amazon.

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