The Perfect 3.3 Cent Breakfast
By Kurt Saxon
(An Economic Note: All the prices quoted on this page are in 1976 U.S. currency)
A while back some Mormons visited me and told me of a friend who had been suckered into paying $12,000 for a year’s supply of “Survival Food” for his family of five. The seller had given him a break by not charging anything for the baby.
The only good thing one can say about most commercial survival foods is that they won’t taste any worse in ten years than they do now. The worst that can be said for them, aside from their lack of nutrition from over processing, is that they cost an average of three times that of food from your local supermarket.
A year’s supply of food would be nice and you should go for it. But be practical. Buy what you normally eat and like. Learn basic food processing so you can buy foods cheaply and in bulk.
Of course, we all use canned and processed food on a regular basis and they should always be bought by the case. You should figure how much of a certain product you will buy over the next year and buy it all at once by the case from your supermarket.
The economy is obvious. First, the supermarket manager will deduct at least 5%, since his people won’t have to unpack it and put it on the shelves. Second, since food prices do nothing but rise, you will probably pay at least 25% more for the same products in a few months.
You can do even better by trading at the discount food stores like Sam’s. Their prices average 10% above dealer’s prices on most items.
Although food in cans, jars and dried packaged foods easily keep from three to five years if they are stored in a dry place, you can insure freshness by rotating. Say you bought ten cases of canned peas. Just mark the cases from 1 to 10. Use from case 1 and when that is emptied, buy another and label it 11. Then start on case 2, buy another and label it 12 and so on. That way none of the food will ever be less than fresh.
When you incorporate grains into your diet you will see your food costs plummet. Buy a hand grain grinder and bake your own bread. You will save several dollars a month. It will also taste better and be more nourishing. You can even sell it to neighbors and even to local health food stores.
Grain grinders should be steel-burred, not stone. Stone grinders are a fraud. They are touted as causing less heat than steel. But hand grinding does not create the amount of heat objected to in the commercial milling of grains. So buy the much cheaper and more durable steel-burred grinder. Atlan sells the Corona Grain Mill for $48.00 delivered in the continental United States (foreign please request additional shipping charges). It is the best for the price of any on the market and should last a lifetime.
The Survivor Vol 1 and Poor Man’s James Bond Strikes Again video tape will give you an excellent grounding on the processing of inexpensive and nutritious foods. Through them you will learn that high food costs, and especially the need for commercial survival foods, are the results of ignorance. You may soon have to abandon the luxury of such ignorance.
But now to get to the main subject; the perfect 3.3 cent breakfast. This is just one example of a food which is easy to process, nourishing, energy and health giving and costs practically nothing.
It is simply four ounces of wheat, sprouted for 48 hours, cooked overnight in your thermos and put in your blender. This makes a large bowl of breakfast cereal which tastes wonderful and will give you more energy than you can imagine.
There are several steps to processing this food but it takes only a few minutes in all as you bustle about in your daily routine.
You probably already have most of what you need but you should equip yourself with what you lack.
First, look up your local feed and seed store, even in a city, and call them. Ask if they have, or can order, 50 to 60 pounds of hard red winter wheat, untreated (treated seed is strictly for planting). There is no reason they should not be able to provide it.
It will cost between $7.00 and $8.00, depending on your location. Say it costs $8.00 for 60 pounds or 13 cents per pound. You will use 4 ounce portions. That is 4 times 60 or 240 breakfasts or 3.3 cents for each breakfast.
One thing you will need is a Stanley Aladdin narrow-mouthed thermos bottle. These cost $19.00 at Wal-Mart, are almost unbreakable and will last a lifetime. Don’t be tempted to get a wide-mouthed thermos, if you mean to cook in it. It holds 3/4 cup less than you need. Also, the cap has a wider surface, which keeps it from holding the heat of the near boiling water needed for actual cooking.
Next you need two quart jars. Mayonnaise jars or similar will do. To cover them get some nylon window screen from the hardware store and cut two six inch by six inch squares. Put four ounces of wheat in each jar. Put the screens over the jars and hold them in place with large rubber bands. Fill one jar one-third with water and set it near the sink overnight.
Next morning pour out the soak water and drink it. It is vitamin-rich and a good morning tonic. Upend the jar in the sink to drain. After the first draining, flood the wheat about every four hours before bedtime and drain it. The idea is to keep the wheat moist.
At the last flooding the first day, just before bedtime, flood the second jar and let it set overnight like the first. Next day, drink the water and treat the second as the first, flooding both every four hours or so.
On the second evening the first jar of wheat will show sprouts protruding from the ends of the grains. Now it is ready. It is part grain and part fresh vegetable. Its protein and vitamin content is higher and it is altogether a more complete food, rich and amazingly nutritious and, again, a complete meal for less than 4 cents.
Empty the sprouted grains into a two cup measure and put four more ounces of wheat in the jar, flood and set aside overnight as before. Now you have a perpetual routine taking up no real time and producing a fantastic amount of food for little cost.
With the sprouted grain in the two cup measure fill it with water to the two cup mark. Then pour it into a saucepan on the stove and add two more cups of water and a few shakes of salt to keep it from tasting flat. Heat it to a boil, which takes about five minutes.
You will need a funnel to pour the water and the grain into the thermos. Take a gallon plastic bottle; milk, bleach, vegetable oil, etc. and cut it in half. Use the top half for the funnel.
Fill your thermos with hot water to preheat it and then pour out just before filling with the grain. While the grain is still boiling, empty the pan into the funnel and so into the thermos. You will have to use a spoon to push part of the grain from the funnel into the thermos, as well as some of the grain from the pan. At any rate, do it quickly so you can cap the thermos to contain the heat.
Cap then shake the thermos and lay it on its side so its contents don’t bunch up, and leave it overnight. Next morning, pour the contents into a blender and pour out part of the liquid into a cup. Drink the liquid as it is rich in vitamins.
With just enough liquid to cover the grain, turn on the blender at low. Then increase the speed until the grain is all ground to the consistency of oatmeal. You can add cinnamon or any other flavoring if you like but you will find it has a delicious taste of its own.
You do not need much sweetener as the sprouting has created quite a bit of wheat sugar. You can add cream if you like, but I like mine plain. In fact, I just blend the wheat with all the liquid and drink it.
You will be surprised at the energy you feel even a few minutes after eating. Not only will it enable you to be more energetic and alert until lunch time but it will also be an excellent weight adjuster.
For instance, if you are overweight, that energy will make you more active and you will lose weight. If you are underweight, its carbohydrates will be burned up as energy and that same energy will activate and increase your musculature.
There is one possible drawback to this 3.3 cent breakfast. If you are active, no problem. But if you live a sedentary lifestyle and are sluggish, you may get the runs. Not chronic, just loose. However, this would only last a few days. After all, this is whole wheat, with all the bran. People have been eating roughly ground whole wheat for thousands of years. Up until about eighty years ago only the very rich ever ate white bread. Sluggish intestines were a rarity except among the wealthy.
Consequently, only the rich got colon cancer. Colon cancer is caused by the buildup of carcinogens on intestinal linings. The rough bran from whole wheat and coarsely ground corn kept the intestines of common folk free from any such buildup.
The same goes for oatmeal, which has recently been touted as the perfect bran food. It is a staple of the Scots and is high in protein. But what with the bran craze its price has risen much higher than its nutritive value.
So back to the wheat bran and its unsettling effects on the innards of sluggards. This is only temporary. Any radical, even beneficial, change in the diet will cause a reaction. The intestines are not harmed, any more than unused muscles are harmed after a first day of horseback riding. The nether quarters doth protest but they soon get used to it. No need to overdo it to bowleggedness though.
So I am not suggesting this to be your whole breakfast permanently or that you make whole wheat your staple food. What I would suggest, however, is that you challenge yourself to make it your whole breakfast for two weeks.
You will save money. You will experience fantastic energy. You will lose/gain weight. You will even get cleaned out and regular and will realize that you will never really need a laxative, even Metamucel, from then on if you eat only one serving each day. You will lower you risk of colon cancer. And you will never fear starvation as long as you have sense enough to buy whole grains in bulk.