Those of us in the over-35 age range probably have a bit of difficulty jumping on the “sprouts” bandwagon. Though they lately seem to be making a more mainstream comeback, I know I associated “bean sprouts” with women who never shaved their legs or used deodorant. This was not an a group I felt an affinity for and so I didn’t give sprouts much thought. More recently, I have reconsidered.
Especially on these darker yucky days of winter, I am longing for fresh produce. I’m regretting that I did not follow through on my intention to get winter salad greens sown in our raised beds. Fortunately, produce is presently available to me at most markets so that I don’t develop scurvy or vitamin K deficiency. One of the big down sides is that I have to be willing to shell out what seems like a hefty sum for fruits and veggies grown thousands of miles away and shipped to our locale.
What if the shipments stop?
We live in a wealthy nation with adequate food supplies available to most people. Not so for Greece where people are becoming desperate. If our country continues along its present path, we may be headed the same direction. Regardless of the reason for the food scarcity though, any interruption in the commercial supply of nutritious food could wreak havoc on our health. We’ve got to plan ahead.
Possibilities for Produce
If we become completely responsible for the food we eat, that essentially leaves only a few options.
- Store the food (freeze-dried or dehydrated in the case of produce)
- Forage (good choice, but requires thorough knowledge of plant ID and availability)
- Grow it
Dried foods are pretty tasty and have their place in a food storage system. Nutritionally, they are a good choice since they retain most of the original nutrients and can be largely used the way fresh foods are. The down side is they tend to be pricey.
Joe and I thoroughly recommend that you study up on what plants can be foraged for food or medicine in your area and maybe even start patches of these things on your property. That’s not a weekend project, though.
Growing your own becomes an obvious advantage. I’d recommend keeping a year ’round supply of salad greens going in sheltered beds (do as I say rather than as I did on this one. ;-) ). If that is not possible for reasons of outdoor space, extreme weather, or other, sprouts will be an even better choice.
Growing sprouts is economical, space-saving, and a very healthy option. With about 2 minutes of your time each day, you can keep healthy greens coming every day of the bleak winter.
In a future piece, I will give more information on where you can get supplies, what kinds of sprouts you may want to try, how to use them, and the nutritional benefits.