More On Grains and Beans and Weston A. Price
For those who have had more questions after reading Monday’s post on Soaking Beans and Grains~ Byebye Phytic Acid, here is a FAQ sheet to answer some of them( see box below) published by the Weston A. Price Foundation.
According to Wikipedia,
“The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), co-founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon (Morell) and nutritionist Mary G. Enig (PhD), is a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to “restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education and research.”
“Dr. Price was a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, whose 1939 book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s among various world cultures, with the original goal of recording and studying the dental health and development of pre-industrial populations including tribal Africans and Pacific islanders, Inuit, North and South American natives, and Australian aborigines. The book contains numerous photographs of the people he studied, and includes comparison photographs of the teeth and facial structure of people who lived on their traditional diet and people who had adopted or grown up on industrialized food. In certain instances it was possible for Price to examine and photograph traditional and industrialized eaters from the same family.“
“More than 50 years after Weston Price’s death, food activists Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig founded the Weston A. Price Foundation in their words to “disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price….Dr. Price’s research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats and nutrient-dense whole foods.”
These whole foods are things like unrefined coconut oil, non-commercial milk, butter, and cheese, pastured eggs and chemical-free meats and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. And traditional practices like soaking grains and beans!
Why are improperly prepared grains so problematic? I can’t explain it any better than the experts…
Most of these anti-nutrients are part of the seed’s system of preservation—they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.
~Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
Be Kind to Your Grains…And Your Grains Will Be Kind to You
As I write a healthy living and homemaking blog, I want to share this dietary wisdom with those who come here for sound information. Good health often is the stepping stone to a calmer and less stressful life even though it takes work and understanding. We can think more clearly, and we and our children are less likely to suffer from the diseases of Western civilization. I know there are many who are searching for answers to these problems.
I have been intrigued and delighted to learn much from WAPF over the years. Much of what I have learned has come from the reading Sally Fallon-Morell’s book, Nourishing Traditions; it has really expanded my thinking. Since devouring that book 12 years ago, we’ve gone back to the traditional ways of soaking our beans and grains. We always soak our oatmeal nowadays, and we eat naturally fermented sourdough bread that we make ourselves or purchase sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel 4: 9 by Food For Life) when life gets too busy.
Q. Please tell me if I should consume sprouted soybeans and other beans?
A. We don’t recommend soybean sprouts as the toxins are still there and soybean sprouts were not consumed in Asia. They used mung beans for sprouting. Sprouting increases some nutrients but also some toxins (which protect the sprouts from animals eating them). Also remember that in traditional societies, the grains and legumes that were sprouted were then cooked.
Q. Does it harm sprouted wheat breads, tortillas, etc. to heat/toast them?
A. No, they should be cooked.
Q. Are the nutritional benefits from sprouted wheat breads that you buy different than the benefits from soaking grains at home?
A. It is hard to say, we are suspicious of some of the additives and techniques used in commercial sprouted breads. The healthiest breads are those prepared by genuine sourdough techniques.
Q. I am having some digestive problems. I recently started consuming a kefir smoothie to which I add wheat germ. Any suggestions?
A. I do not recommend wheat germ. For one thing, it is rancid. Furthermore, it is difficult to digest.
Q. How is sprouted wheat ground into flour when it is wet and mushy?
A. When you sprout the wheat, you then have to dry it–either in an oven or a dehydrator.
Q: Do you recommend quick oats?
A: We do not recommend quick oats–they have been altered in a certain way, not good. If you soaks regular oats, they will cook as quickly as quick oats. However, even quick oats are better than extruded cereal!
Q: Where do I find wheat berries? Can you buy sprouted ones?
A: Most health food stores carry wheat berries–Whole Foods carries them. I don’t think that the bulgur wheat sold is stores can be sprouted–you will have to inquire about this. But you can purchase sprouted wheat flour on the internet and make bread with it. I don’t think all the elements will be broken down as much as if you do sourdough but it is better than using plain whole wheat flour.
Q; Can a grain such as rolled oats or other flaked or steel-cut grain soaked overnight be eaten raw as muesli or should it always be cooked?
Q: Should we eat grains raw, since heat damages them?
Q: What oats should I eat? Are the phytates destroyed in the processing of oats?
Q: Does dry-roasting make the nuts and seeds more digestible than raw and used as a short-cut to soaking and dehydrating or is it always best to soak them first then dehydrate them? I’m questioning the dry-roasting method as to digestibility.
Q. What are the irritating substances found in sprouts? Do micro-greens contain any problems?
A. The worst one is canavanine, in alfalfa sprouts–you will find disagreement about this on the internet, but it really is not a good thing. Most sprouts should be cooked or steamed before being eaten–that will get rid of a lot of problematic components.
Q. Are beans in a can considered soaked because they are in the water in the can?
A. Beans should be soaked–that is the problem with canned beans, they are softened without the soaking so all the inhibitors are there.
Q. Can I make the fermented bean paste recipe out of Nourishing Traditions without whey? Many of the other fermented recipes say you can use extra salt if allergic to dairy products, but this recipe does not give that option so I’m not sure.
A. I don’t think I would risk it–the beans might not get acidic enough, and then they it would not be safe.
Q. Some say that phytic acid is not a problem and that sprouting is not necessary.
A. We do think phytic acid is a problem in grains and legumes because they block mineral uptake. Some people have enough phytates (enzymes that break down phytic acid) in their gut so that this is not the problem but there are many other anti-nutrients in grains and legumes, such as gluten, enzyme inhibitors, tannins, and lectins. Proper preparation gets rid of these along with the phytates.
Q. Whey, yogurt, cultured milk, buttermilk, lemon juice & vinegar are all suggested for soaking whole grain flours. Is one, any better than the others? And how much should be used?
A. In my experience, kefir works the best. Equal amounts of flour and soaking liquid gives a very thick batter. Start like this and then the next morning you can thin with water if you want something thinner.
Q. After the allotted soaking time what do you do with the soaked flour? Is it just added into the mix or does the soaked flour need to be baked and dried before using in a recipe?
A. Follow the recipes in Nourishing Traditions. After overnight soaking, you add the rest of the ingredients and make pancakes, muffins, etc.
Q. Your recipes don’t say to pour off your soaking water for rice and other grains. Should you pour it off and use new water? Can you do it either way?
A. For whole grains (not rolled or cracked) you would pour off the water and rinse. But you can’t really do this for things like oatmeal as the soaking water is absorbed.
Q. I was wondering what WAPF thought of oat groats and their nutritional value compared to rolled oats.
A. To really hydrate oat groats and reduce the anti-nutrients, you would have to soak them several days and I think you would find them too sour for your taste. With rolled oats, you don’t have to soak as long—overnight will do.
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.” ~Jeremiah 17:14
“The way he treats his body, you’d think he was renting.” ~Robert Brault
Thanks for reading!