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Chinese Meals

Food production and preservation

Natural forces and disasters are one of the most pivotal factors and often the most devastating to agriculturally based markets. The average Chinese diet is highly dependent on domestic food production. Before the accessibility and efficiency of food transport, living off of the land meant that at times of harvest, there was surplus, and during times of winter or dry spells, there was little to provide. (PIC: Todd’s photos: PIC0040—agriculture, PIC: Ryan’s photos: mushrooms)
The Chinese adapted to whatever circumstances (famines, draughts) that arose. In order to meet adequate nutritional needs, the Chinese invented many ways to preserve the resources they had available. They have been noted as having one of the most extensive and creative lists of preservation methods: they “preserved foods—grains, meat, vegetables, fruit, and eggs—preserved by smoking, pickling, salting, sugaring, steeping and drying”. These methods provide flavor year round for cai dishes. (PIC: Preserved eggs—“Thousand-year-old eggs”? or other food)