long lifers lasted to 21 years old.People will point out that our ancestors did it this way for thousands of years, etc. Well, they did a lot of stupid things back then.
And had very short life expectancies.
You failed to mention consumption of tainted foods and water in your list of things they had to survive. Also, life expectancy is generally based on an average life, not extremes.Due to accidents, illnessess, and childbirth.
But......people that survived , healthy, lived as long as people today. Modern medicine and technology has not extended our lives, it's extended our average life. It's taken away things that cut our life short......
The upper end of expectancy remains basically unchanged.
I had many ancestors living into their '80s '90s and even one notable one to 101 in the 1700s. He drowned on a pond on his plantation at 101 No medicine, no running water.....also no smoking, drinking alcohol. People had 5-15 kids then too often.
Anyhow, bacon was the staple meat on Southern plantations. Cured, smoked, preserved. The workers received their weekly rations of corn and bacon. No refrigeration to be had.
I've kept my dry cured bacon stored in the freezer for up to six months with no ill effects....The USDA recommends using dry-cured sliced bacon within ten days when unrefrigerated, and within four weeks if you keep it in the refrigerated. If the dry-cured bacon comes in a slab—the kind you slice yourself—it can last up to three weeks without the fridge, and four to six weeks in the fridge....