Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/717

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Popular Science Monthly


��actually tasted fresher and better than the green stuff she was accustomed to purchase at her grocer's. That's just the key note of the new method. The spinach given to the housekeeper was dried inside of eight hours from the time it was picked, while that bought at provision stores is anywhere from two to ten days old and hence fre- quently stale.

Furthermore, the developers claim that products dried according to their system, can, in large quantities, be sold at a lower price than the actual retail market price of green vegetables. They are of the opinion that fresh vegetables will be for- midable competitors of the dried products only in fat years. At such times, however, vegetables are purchasable at a low figure and the surplus will in all probability be dried to maintain a general balance in the green foodstuff market.

Wastes Can Be Utilized

Among the many products which are being successfully dried at present, and which otherwise would go to waste, are potato culls — that is, potatoes which have been injured in digging and therefore are below market standards. At least ten per cent of the potato crop falls into this class. This percentage is now being dried and converted into potato flour.

Windfalls in fruits offer another im- portant field for conservation. The market usually insists upon hand-picked fruit. . The loss in this respect alone, is said to amount to more than fifty per cent of the total growth. Windfalls are being dried at the present time so


��that they can be used in many ways. Powdered dry orange is as fragrant as the fresh fruit. So, also, are a number of other fruit flours.

A pound of dried mixed vegetables made up of carrots, turnips, onions, cabbage and potatoes, prepared especially for soup, is sufficient for sixty or more adults. A barrel of the same vegetables weighing one hundred pounds, provides enough soup stock for nearly six thousand persons. The raw vegetables which go to make up this mixture, before drying fill thirty barrels and weigh in the neighborhood of one thousand, five hundred pounds.

The food ratio between the dried and the original green vegetables is as follows: Potatoes, I pound to 7; cabbage, i to 18; onions, i to 13; spinach, i to 14; carrots, I to 12; and turnips, i to 13.

I dropped a few slices of dried onion into a glass of water; the slices were about the thickness of a postage stamp. In less than an hour they had absorbed enough water to assume the size, shape and odor of the original onion slice. Strips of carrots, after they had been soaked, regained their original shape and became as firm as the fresh vegetable. Spinach which looked like pressed flowers, bloomed into a brilliant green after a few minutes in water, each leaf intact with its network of raised veins as if it had just been gathered from the field. No inferiority could be detected in the flavor of these vegeta- bles. . . . Drying establishments have already been 'erected and are now in operation at Middle River, California; Webster, New York, and Bound Brook, New Jersey.

���The bottles and glass tanks at right of photograph contain an amount of water equal to that which was extracted from the dried vegetables at the left

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