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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Roses and Potatoes and Scurvy

my old-fashioned roses in bloom today*

What do roses and potatoes have to do with scurvy? What do roses and potatoes have to do with each other? Roses and potatoes both supply vitamin C, a nutrient we all need in order not to develop scurvy. You may remember that sailors developed scurvy when they were on long sea voyages with only hardtack to eat.

the back fence today

In the 1700s a British Naval doctor discovered that lemons and limes prevented scurvy. Potatoes and fermented cabbage were used by some sea captains to keep the crew from developing scurvy.

Today, we have a whole range of foods (even meat) that provide us with vitamin C and is available to most of us year round. Most of us get enough C from foods and do not have to worry about scurvy. Preppers might do well to figure out food that will supply Vitamin C and store well.

Some preppers and survivalists recommend storing years of vitamins of all sorts. This bothers me that their resources are being squandered. They could use the money to better purposes, in my opinion. Vitamins don't have a long shelf life. Even then, vitamins must be stored under the right temperature and humidity conditions. Besides, storing or being able to find foods with vitamin C seems more important than storing it.

In no way is this meant as a criticism of what people are storing. Food storage and survivalism is all about present peace of mind as well as future security. If everyone of us would step back and find a better way to live a healthy life eating healthful foods, we might be more healthy right now and more healthy with our food preps. (whew, lots of healths)

A few years ago,. a friend of mine told me about rose hips. She did not live to show me rose hips. I have yet to see any except in pictures. However, they are full of vitamin C. I am no help in extracting it, but maybe someone can guide us in that direction.

People disparage the lowly potato and blame it for weight gain and diabetes. Okay, some of this is true. We all know that the variety of potato, cooking method and serving method have lots to do with potato problems. Remember, cooking destroys the vitamin C. Okay, I don't eat potatoes raw, but I could. Sailors did and saved their lives.  Potatoes with the peel are a rich source of Vitamin C.

Here  is some discouraging news for all that take Vitamin C. I am going to trust Wikipedia to have a true list of some of the foods with Vitamin C.

This post was going to be about rose hips. If anyone is afraid some force might take your stored supplies from you to redistribute, you might consider growing roses with hips. Probably no one will take your roses. Mine don't have hips. Get the right kind!

*About the first rose picture--I did nothing to enhance, lighten, or fix the color in that picture, just published it as it came from the camera. Yes, the blooms are brilliant. I don't know the name, but everyone tells me they are "old-fashioned roses," and no one knows any other name. Do you?

Your turn
Do you grow roses that have hips? Have you ever taken the hips apart to obtain the part with vitamins C?


  1. Your gorgeous rose is from tne rugosa family. Odd that they don't have hips. I do have roses with hips, one is a rugosa but I don't get enough blooms to bother harvesting.

  2. LindaM,
    I did not prune after the flowers died, just like my friend said. There seemed to be no hips, no huge bumps in the winter, not even little bumps. Thanks for the name. Now, I wonder what the rest of the name is. I think it is gorgeous, too. But, it gets so raggedy looking and died a horrid death that lasts for weeks. My roses are at their peak right now.

  3. I rather like raw potatoes! People freak out about carbs but the thing is, a potato is a whole food--and if you eat the skin, you get a lot more nutrients. I like to bake them and top them with homemade chili.

  4. Pamela,
    I have eaten potatoes raw. However, it was not my favorite way to eat them. My sister ate them raw before dinner and then did not want friend potatoes. Daddy was furious that she was not eating her meal.He thought he had to have fried potatoes with meals. He could never understand my mother approving of her eating before meals and eating raw food. sigh...he was a despot.

    Lots of people make a meal of a potato. I have never had chili on a potato, but it is nutritious and a whole like my foods separate. The problem with potatoes is that people eat them with their white bread and white rice and butter and sour cream and cheese and fatty meat, thus making them a very fattening food if you consider all that was added.

    I will have to see about eating the skin raw to retain the Vitamin C.


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