Drying is the oldest method of preserving food. The early American settlers dried foods such as corn, apple slices, currants, grapes, and meat. Compared with other methods, drying is quite simple. In fact, you may already have most of the equipment on hand. Dried foods keep well because the moisture content is so low that spoilage organisms cannot grow. Drying will never replace canning and freezing because these methods do a better job of retaining the taste, appearance, and nutritive value of fresh food. But drying is an excellent way to preserve foods that can add variety to meals and provide delicious, nutritious snacks. One of the biggest advantages of dried foods is that they take much less storage space than canned or frozen foods. Many kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, and fish can be dried Emergency Essentials carries dehydrated food and dry foods that can be added to the food storage portion of your emergeny preparedness plan. The coconut, one of the most important cultivated trees in the world, is Cocos nucifera of the palm family, Palmaceae. Only the one species is in this genus. "Descriptive features are: (1) the slender often leaning trunk, enlarged at base, ringed above and 8 to 12 inches in diameter; (2) many pinnate (feathery) leaves 12 to 20 feet long with basal sheath of coarse brown fibers, long petiole (stem) and numerous very narrow shiny yellow-green segments (pinnae or leaflets) spreading regularly in one plane on both sides of axis; (3) numerous whitish or pale yellow male and female flowers in branched flower clusters at leaf bases; and (4) fruit, the familiar coconut, egg-shaped or elliptic, consisting of a light brown fibrous husk 8 to 12 inches long, a hard shell and one very large hollow seed with whitish, oily edible flesh) "What we call the meat of the coconut is really food for the developing embryo and is technically called the endosperm. In the young fruit this is a liquid but it gradually becomes firm, and by nine months the meat is at its greatest thickness,The fruit botanically is not a nut but a drupe. The bluntly 3-angled husk is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick. It does not split open spontaneously as some fruits do. The meat is about 3/8 inch thick. The large central cavity contains a watery or milky liquid often called coconut milk or coconut water. It is one of the largest seeds known, surpassed only by the 1-seeded, 2-lobed fruit of the double-coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), a tall fan palm of the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean. L. maldivica produces fruit weighing up to 50 pounds. The coconut palm is medium sized, usually 30 to 60 feet, sometimes as tall as 80 feet. "The slender trunk is enlarged to 16 to 20 inches in diameter at base, often slightly inclined there, and may be leaning as a result of the constant coastal breeze or after partial uprooting by a hurricane. The gray or brown trunk is lightly cracked. At the apex is the relatively broad evergreen growth of alternate, erect, spreading and drooping leaves," known as fronds.