Jim, the letter about the value of storing enriched white rice was good, but I think a little more emphasis needs to be put on stocking up on lots and lots of spices to "liven up" the rice. I buy a couple pounds of dried or powdered spices a week--cumin, cayenne, garlic, dried onion, red pepper, fennel seed, cajun seasoning, anything with a strong flavor that can really "amplify" meals--and label them, date them and seal them up in quart-size mason jars. The danger of food fatigue/appetite fatigue is real--there's plenty of research out there showing that some people (especially children and the elderly) would rather stop eating altogether than just eat the same thing day in and day out over an extended period of time. The psychological boost to having far more spices than you could ever think of using can have huge psychological benefits when it comes to mealtime.
Both of my brothers are chefs (and preppers as well), but when I mentioned to one of them that I had several dozen quarts of spices in mason jars in my food preps, he said, “You realize those will go bad after six months, right?” I replied that the spices will only "go bad” if they’re exposed to air for an extended period–but the seals on my mason jars are much more airtight than the containers which the spices came in at Sam’s Club, and unlike people in a restaurant setting, I'm not opening those same jars day after day in a hot, humid environment like you would find in a restaurant kitchen. And quite frankly, I’d rather have “too much” spices than to not have enough--I’ll take “stale” spices any day over bland food. It could literally mean the difference between people eating or not eating.
Also, don't get hung up (no pun intended) on the thought of eating beans and rice every day. They should think of it as the opportunity to try an endless number of soup recipes using rice and beans as their base ingredients. I've paid just a couple bucks each for recipe downloads on eBay that have literally hundreds of soup recipes each. Maybe your readers will remember the Wendy's hamburger chain commercials years ago that advertised that they could make a hamburger 256 ways--eight different ingredients gave diners 256 possible combinations of what they could get on their sandwiches. People using soup recipes for their rice and beans could eat soup every day for years and never use the same recipe twice. I recommend a search for soup recipes on eBay, where your readers should be able to find the same culinary treasure trove that I have.
Have a blessed week, Jim! - Chad S.
White rice is the equivalent of Wonder Bread. Yes, it will store for many years, and this is due to the fact that the oils and other items that may go bad have been removed.
So to avoid long term deficiency diseases we need to add oils, vitamins and fiber back into white flour, ramen noodles and white rice or any 'junk' food we may be eating. Yes, I understand that flour and white rice can be enriched with vitamins, but even these added vitamins will lose potency with time.
In an earlier submission I described how whole grains could be sprouted to create vitamins (especially C), now let us discuss another option for protein and B vitamins.
POWs in Japanese camps in WWII were dealing with this same problem. One of their solutions was to grow yeast on the white rice. This added both proteins and B vitamins. There was Beriberi Dietary Deficient Disease in Japanese POW camps.
There are various yeast types (brewers yeast, red yeast, Biostrath) that you may be able to find and culture. Even baking yeast may be a viable choice.
You will want acquire these yeasts and experiment ahead of time to determine the best conditions for optimum growth given your media choices. People with weakened immune systems (stress, no sleep and malnutrition can do that) may want to cook the yeast first so that it cannot replicate inside their intestines.
You will, for all intents and purposes, be making vitamins at home in a manner not all that different than vitamin companies do.
For information on growing the ultimate nutritional supplement in a fish tank on your windowsill, learn how to raise spirulina. I took a class here... The Algae Lab and recommend it highly. You will also get a starter culture from the good doctor Baum when you go. An advantage of spirulina is that also contains making oils.
Don't forget, egg yolks and liver are very high sources of B vitamins.
Finally, get to know your body. Vitamin deficiencies affect different people in different ways. Look at the symptom lists available online and see if you are susceptible to any of the symptoms. We are all biochemically unique. You may need twice the vitamin B2 than your wife does or vice versa. - SF in Rome
I have Celiac (auto-immune disease requiring a gluten-free diet) and I hope you will allow me to add my two-cents about Enriched White Rice.
White Rice is known to cause Chronic Constipation and, as you pointed out, Nutrition Deficiency when relied upon too heavily in one’s diet. The biggest mistakes people make when they are diagnosed with Celiac is they start eating all those rice-based crackers and products to replace the more fiber-based options they can no longer eat. One of the reasons people say to add beans to rice to be complete is because the beans make up for the lack of fiber.
Ask our American Military Medics what one of their biggest non-battle related problems they have to treat, and many (that I’ve talked to) will say Constipation (mostly because of the MRE’s.) I remember this being addressed in your novel "Patriots” as well. If you plan on eating a lot of MREs and White Rice, then make sure there is enough laxative to go around.
Weight gain is another problem because of all that starch. Thus people who run to White Rice often trade one problem for another (or more). Perhaps why we don’t see a weight gain problem in Asian cultures is because they are more active generally, and after thousands of years of rice consumption their bodies can metabolize it better than the average American. The word “enriched” usually means that after the nutrients have been stripped off and the grain has been bleached, minerals are then sprayed onto the grain to offer at least some value to the now depleted grain.
People who do not have Celiac don’t realize the consequences of relying too much on White Rice, and TEOTWAWKI is not the time to find out.
I would also like to address the ludicrous mantra: ‘If 500-million Chinese can do it, so can we!’ often heard in regards to White Rice. Like any food-storage food, if you don’t eat it every day, right now, then chances art your body isn’t going to adjust well later. Also, the Chinese Government isn’t exactly known for its love of humanity in regards to its own people. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I wonder what all those poverty-stricken people would say after a hundred years of actually having a choice! Studies of the Asian diet also show it is their eating of seafood and vegetables that gives them longevity, not white rice!
Our American POWs from the Vietnam War didn’t come out looking good after being fed a bowl of rice everyday for so many months--or years. Tooth decay, muscle-loss, vitamin deficiency …the list goes on.
White Rice certainly has it's place, but Americans are not exactly known for our Balance and Control in regards to our diet, either. If not used properly, White Rice is about as useful as French Fries for survival food. - Rebekah