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Food Preservation During Pioneer Times 

HONORS16group2-Maughan's Fort
Artist's conception of winter at Maughan's Fort

These soups were especially valuable because they could easily be canned and stored. This process decreased spoilage substantially thereby reducing the village's food waste. Pioneers also used the entire animal; organ meats, tripe (muscle) animal fat, feet, heads, and bones. [3]

Through the establishment of an association called the “Female Relief Society” in the Mormon Church, methods to prevent food waste became more organized. Members were given assignments to donate extra food products such as grains, butter, or eggs to those in need [4].  

Lye Soap Making

Even the fat from the animals was saved and often made into soap.  This process involved boiling the fat down until it became a product called lard (pig) or tallow (beef) [5]. Women would then combine this with lye, collected from wood ash, to make the soap.

Overall, settlers had limited resources and thus excess consumption was considered impractical. If they did have extra food, it was typically repurposed into other meals, thrown to pets and livestock as scraps, or mulched into the garden. [6]

1.Ricks, J. (1953, April 24). The Beginnings of Settlement in Cache Valley. USU Faculty Honor Lecture, Paper 43. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=honor_lectures
2.Jeppeson, S. (1999). Hyde Park, Utah History. Utahlinks. Retrieved from http://hydepark.utahlinks.org/history.pdf
3.Food Items Used by the Mormon Battalion. (2009). California Pioneer Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://californiapioneer.org/for-history-buffs/mormon-battalion/7-food-items
4.Jardine, W. (1972, July). A Melting Pot of Pioneer Recipes. LDS.org. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/a-melting-pot-of-pioneer-recipes?lang=eng#footnoteSTAR-03020_000_059
5.Waugh, M. (N.d.). Making Soap-Saponification. Santa Monica College. Retrieved from http://homepage.smc.edu/walker_muriel/default.htm
6.Nunley, M. (2013). From Farm to Fork to Landfill: Food Waste and Consumption in America. Pitzer College. Retrieved from http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1032&context=pitzer_theses