Activity: Make homemade sauerkraut. Cook knew that sauerkraut, which is pickled cabbage, had been shown to prevent scurvy. Sauerkraut, because it is pickled, can be kept in jars, and will not go bad. Cook brought a lot of sauerkraut on his voyage – but the crew didn’t want to eat it at first. One of Cook’s most important discoveries during his voyages was actually about food. Cook realized that sauerkraut, if eaten, prevented the disease called scurvy.