[permaculture] We can CREATE nutrients.

SArjuna at aol.com SArjuna at aol.com
Mon Mar 17 12:56:30 EDT 2008

     I just sent the following info. to folks on my natural wellness and 
gardening e-lists.   Let's hear more about this?
     Shivani in WI

        Did you know that we can create nutrients such as vitamins and 
protein!   Actually, it's not people who do the creating.   Our helpers, the yeast 
and fungi of fermentation, do the work.

     -   During the fermentaton of primitive rice wine or beer in Indonesia, 
lysine is increased 15%, thiamine is increased 300% and protein is doubled.   
     - Natual cassava root contains 1 1/2% protein, but fermented cassava is 
about 8% protein.
     - Brewer's yeasts contain essential trace minerals: selenium, chromium 
and copper, in amounts comparable to that in fresh fruits and vegetables.
     - The yeast plant itself is high in protein.
     - Brewer's yeast contains the highest glucose tolerance factor found in 
any food.   It can reduce insulin requirement for diabetics, reduces serum 
cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the elderly.
     -   Yeasts produce vitamin B12 in profusion.   Also riboflavin and 
thiamin, B6, pantothenic acids, folic acid and biotin.
     - Most fermented beverages contain Vitamin C in profusion, and preserve 
     - Fermentation lowers poisons: hydrocyanaic adic, nitrites, prussic acid 
and oxalic acid.
     - Fermentation can outright destroy the poisons: nitrites, nitrosamins , 
     - Fermentaion can reduce or decompose mycotoxcins.
     - Some ferment organisms stimulate or augment the human digestive flora.
     - Lacitic acid fermentation of foods reduces the incidence of pathogenic 
     - Fermentation creates storable and portable foods.
     - "Biological enoblement" of plants and sugars through fermentation 
provided a primary dietary source for our ancestors.
     That's pretty useful?

     Bill Mollison, one of the founders of permaculture, wrote a great book 
on this subject:   The Permaculture Book of Ferment & Human Nutrition, which 
one reviewer deemed to be the best book yet on sustainabillty. (Try 
www.bestwebbuys.com for good prices.)   Ferment and Human Nutrition is a detailed resource 
of preservation, storage, and processing techniques from around the world.  
Areas covered include nutrition and environmental health; Beers, wines and 
other beverages; preserving meat and dairy products; and preserving fruits, 
vegetables and grains ...with the aim of empowering people and communities 
to...retain the ability to grow, prepare, and store our own foods.   287 pp.

     A great book on lactobacilli fermentation is Sandor Katz's Wild 
     Stephen H. Buhner's book Sacred & Healing Herbal Beers will   show you 
how to make these wondrous beverages.   (Hint: They do not contain hops.)

     For countless thousands of years our ancestors used friendly fungi and 
bacteria to create foods with nutritional value far superior to what most 
modern peoples eat.    Today, as the price of all that de-nutrified stuff that 
comes in cans, jars and boxes is skyrocketing, is a good time to change our ways.  
  Buy, forage or grow some real food.   Learn the miraculous secrets of 
fermentation.   Watch your health improve!

     There is another valuable point here.   The reason that the price of 
food is rising is because supply is insufficient.    It is no longer just "third 
world" countries that are experiencing shortages.   (When it happens in 
Africa, we call it "famine."    When it happens in the USA, we call it "food 
insecurity.")   Historically, populations in many areas   of the world have had to 
make do with scarce nutrients .   This is a good time learn a few very useful 
things from their techniques of creating nutrients.

     My second batch of beer is almost done.   This one is ginger with lemon. 
  The yeast have been feeding on organic sorghum syrup and sucanat.    I find 
the sound of the carbon dioxide blurping gently through the air lock   both 
satisfying and reassuring.    I have lots of friends in my kitchen!

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