Why store wheat? That has always been a question rolling around in my head. After all, I have never eaten raw wheat and to the best of my knowledge, wheat had to be milled, ground and otherwise processed before it could be come usable.
On the other hand, my education in all things preparedness has taught me that wheat – or more specifically wheat berries – is one of the cornerstones to serious long term food storage. Oh boy. What’s a gal to do?
How to Live on Wheat
A couple of weeks ago I contacted John Hill, the author of “How to Live on Wheat” and asked him if he would be willing to provide me with a review copy of the latest version of his book. (At the time I did not realize that he was almost a neighbor here in Washington State.) What a guy! I had a book in hand a few days later and I was off to the races. Yesterday I sat out on the porch and read his book cover to cover – an easy read – and I now get it.
As John relates in his book:
- Wheat is nutritious (typically 13% to 20% protein)
- Wheat is high in gluten – necessary for quality bread making
- Wheat stores well
- Wheat is relatively inexpensive
So what about the book?
First of all, let me say that it is the perfect primer for someone who wants to get started in learning about wheat as well as other whole grains and legumes. I learned about the different types of grains and legumes, the nutritional considerations, and the storage requirements. I even about anti-nutrients which are compounds that interfere with the absorption of good-guy nutrients.
Did you know that there are both live grains and dead grains and that the storage requirements are different. As John explains in his book, you do not store live grains in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. The live grains need oxygen to sprout.
There was also an extensive section on sprouting. This I liked because even though I am not ready to jump in and purchase a grain mill in order to grind my own flour, there are plenty of nutritious and delicious ways to use sprouted wheat (and grains) as raw food or in salads, soups, or other foods. As a matter of fact, sprouting can actually increase the nutritional value of these items.
Which leads to to the recipes? Want to give sourdough a shot? There is a recipe for making your own starter. Cast iron cooking and baking? Yep, a whole section on that. And finally, there is huge section on resources: where to buy, how much to store, and essential tools and supplies.
Wheat as Survival Food
Talk about a powerhouse. Who knew? I always thought that other than bread, wheat was primarily used in baked goods – the sugary fattening stuff. Of course, since baking my own bread (see Baking bread and why you should do it), I knew that whole wheat flour could be used for lots of things that are not necessarily bad for you but now the world of wheat berries, wheat sprouts, and other wheat related goodies has been opened up for exploration.
And lucky for me, I still have my mason jar sprouting kit left over from the seventies.
Here is a link to John’s book: How to Live on Wheat.
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
From the Bargain Bin: You know how I hate giving or receiving money as a gift. Try gift cards instead. Amazon has a great selection – perfect for that special father.
Emergency Essentials is a great source of food for long term storage as well as supplies. Their monthly specials are especially good.