A common staple in any good prepper’s store is food and another is medication. We make sure to have loads of food that will last a long time (grains, legumes and corn) and do not realize that eating these very things help contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and cardiac syndrome X (just to name a few). WTSHTF where in the world are we supposed to get chemo medication? Or who is most qualified to do a triple bypass or mix up a new batch of insulin? If the need ever comes to actually use our stores it would be a great help if we knew we could avoid some of the major diseases that plague modern society.
Studies of modern hunter-gatherers like the Maori, Inuit, Aborigines, Masai and !Kung show a lack of diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and had incredible dental health. But these same people contracted these diseases like cancer, diabetes and tooth decay when they adopted foods not indigenous to their lifestyle. These tribes ate lots of protein (land and sea) but not just the muscle. They also enjoyed the organ meats like the liver, heart and kidneys, which provide great amounts of soluble vitamins. Vegetables were enjoyed (though not by the Inuit whose diet is almost all protein and fat), with some tubers and the occasional fruit.
What these people did not eat was a lot of sugar or refined grains. These two items are the main causes of cancer, heart attacks and the whole host of diseases that society faces today. So much so that these diseases are referred to as diseases of civilization (DOC). Sugar, for example, is the food stuff cancer cells like most and thrive when there is an abundant supply of glucose (sugar in the blood) in the blood while people without cancer will have normal glucose levels. And refined grains turn straight away into sugar directly in the blood when ingested and raise glucose and is often the precursor of diabetes. Any doctor worth his salt will tell someone with a glucose level above 100 to stay away from refined carbohydrates (read grains). Though great civilizations are built on these things it does not negate the fact that these societies have health problems stemming from these foods and doesn’t mean that we cannot take protective measures to ensure that we live beyond what our government tells us is healthy. Other examples can be made to associate these things with the other diseases mentioned but since this is down and dirty I will refer you to other more in depth books on the matter which should be right next other books in your bookshelf next to "Patriots", “Where There Is No Doctor” and "Atlas Shrugged".
So what the heck do I do with all my wheat, corn and beans? These foods cannot be eaten raw. They were the world’s first processed food. If one were to try to eat these three foods in plain form you would become sick. And when you eat them without the proper preparation you will in all likelihood contract one of the abovementioned diseases. Not a happy proposition especially after TEOTWAWKI.
Grains have a great deal of Phytic acid, which is bound to phosphorus. This is in the outer part of the grains (husk), which is the healthiest part. Phytic acid combines with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in your intestinal tracks and blocks their absorption. Now if you go without these minerals there will be a lot of problems with overall health. There are also enzyme inhibitors that slow down digestion and stress your pancreas. Irritating tannins, complex sugars which can’t be broken down and gluten.
Animals in the wild that have multiple stomachs and various acids to break these properties down but people don’t have these things and need external preparation to properly digest grains. This is accomplished through soaking, sprouting and fermenting. Take your grains that you are about to make into pancakes, cake or whatever and soak them in buttermilk, kefir or yogurt for twelve to 24 hours before baking or cooking. This process enables the cultures in the fermented food to predigest the grains so that the anti-nutrients are rendered harmless and allowing the body to digest more of what is good about grains like the mineral and vitamin content.
Beans contain a lot of alkaloid toxins. While these protect the beans in the wild these toxic cyanogens like cyanide in Lima beans do nothing for health. Beans and peas contain hemagglutins that cause blood to clump along with substances that inhibit digestion of protein. Fava beans contain vicin, covicince and isouramil, which can’t be broken down by some people. These toxins keep red blood cells from delivering oxygen to the rest of the body, which can cause, headaches, nausea, vomiting and fever (stay away from the fava). Soybeans negatively affect the thyroid and cause estrogen in men to spike. Asians never eat the amount of soy products like in America. The only soy products that are consumed are fermented soy like miso, tempeh, and kimchi in small amounts. Soak beans for 24 hours before cooking to make beans fully digestible (helping to eliminate gas) and enable the body to digest all of the good stuff. These steps neutralize phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors and breaks down the hard to digest complex sugars.
Corn has spread all over the world but the proper preparation has not. Nixtamalization is the process that enhances the nutritional quality of corn. This process helps make the amino acids more like a complete protein and making niacin more easily absorbed. Cultures that do not use this process often develop pellagra (niacin deficiency) and kwashiorkor (a protein deficiency). Soak for twelve to 24 hours and cook with lime-the alkaline substance and not the fruit. This process is even briefly discussed in the revised edition of “Where There Is No Doctor” on page 117 under “lime soaked maize.”
Get the books “Nourishing Traditions ” by Sally Fallon for great recipes using these techniques, “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz for more recipes but know that the author of this books swears and is a bit of a commie in my humble opinion and “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes for the total science and history behind the studies (a bit dry but very knowledgeable). Good luck.