KISS Survival Food System
W. David Goines
KISS (keeping it simply simple) Survival Food System is designed
to introduce and integrate fresh foods into daily living such that
it becomes part of your lifestyle. In searching for an adequate
"survival food", I was concerned for a number of elements:
This food needed to have superior qualities of: storage, usability,
economy, nutrition, and be manageable with minimal energy requirements.
In other words - it needed to be simply SIMPLE. If it could also
replicate itself would also be nice - just in case I could never
buy any more of it in this lifetime.
In a "survival" or "emergency" sense, it seemed
unrealistic, and almost incomprehensible that I could store a years
supply of everything that I would like to have or that I am accustomed
to in our everyday modern living standards. Likewise, I wanted my
foods to be fresh, not canned, not frozen, and not require a lot
of energy to either store or use/prepare. Further, I needed my food
to be familiar, such that it would not require a drastic dietary
change - which of itself could be a disaster. I would also like
to be able to store a years supply in small containers - such that
if I had to flee, I could easily take my food with me. I wanted
a food that was good tasting and could be used in a number of ways
providing a lot of variety. Lord - what could this food possibly
Indeed, I prayed about it and was told that only one food upon the
earth would meet my requirements. This food is the humble "bean".
In its dry state: it stores well, with virtually no energy requirements
other than to be protected from moisture or extreme heat. It and
its many cousins offer a profound variety of taste, texture, and
nutrition for its incredibly low dry weight. Indeed, it is portable,
economical, and it can replicate itself if necessary. While in its
dry form, it can be ground into flours or meal with simple tools,
mixed with water for a variety of breads & crackers using minimal
energy (sun baked even). With soaking, the bean can be easily worked
into a paste or eaten raw if necessary.
As a sprouted product - the humble bean becomes a live vegetable
providing many times its own volume and nutritional value. A nearly
complete food capable of replicating itself many times over when
planted in soil, again with very minimal energy requirements i.e.
beans fix nitrogen back to the soil instead of depleting it and
have only minimal requirements of their own for fertility. The leaves
of the bean plant can also be eaten as part of the crop while you
are waiting for the beans to mature and return to the dry state.
Harvesting is simple. The sprouting process can be carried out year
round with very minimal requirements. No doubt - this is real "survival"
food. Likewise, sprouted beans can easily be incorporated into your
modern daily diet with measurable health benefits. The Chinese have
long valued the sprouted bean as a mainstay food. Note that I am
advocating sprouted beans - not just bean sprouts, as the sprouted
beans represent a much superior food product than just eating the
sprouts. Interestingly, sprouted beans contain all the enzymes necessary
for proper digestion as a more complete food. When greened or allowed
to leaf a little the simple bean becomes a nutritional powerhouse
of incomparable value. A living fresh food.
BEAN IS BEST?
I have researched and tested every bean I could find across common
availability. Of the grocery store varieties, I found that the small
varieties seem to work best for sprouting. These include: Navy bean,
Black Turtle Beans, Red field peas (actually beans) and Lentils. All
are legumes (beans) . They offer good taste, texture, and nutritional
variety. Mung beans work well, but are usually more difficult to find
outside of Asian markets. These varieties typically cost something
in the range of 50 cents per pound (retail). In selecting a bag of
beans, look for packages that contain very few broken beans. A broken
bean definitely won't sprout and a large percentage of broken beans
means that the beans have been poorly handled, are old, and might
even be dead due to poor handling. Definitely, buy your beans from
many sources (different stores) and plan to test and repackage each
pound of beans that you buy. If indeed you get a package that does
not sprout well, you can use it more immediately for either flour
or as a cooked bean product. Even a dead bean has value - just not
for sprouting. I buy beans nearly every week of the year, sprouting
some from each batch for our weekly usage, repackaging and labeling
with date in zippered plastic bags. Properly packaged and stored beans
can remain "sprout" viable for up to 5 years. I prefer to
keep mine in nearly constant rotation to assure annual freshness whenever
possible. Otherwise, be sure that your beans are for human consumption
as a food product - NOT seed. Seed for growing has most likely been
treated with a pesticide and is not safe for consumption as a fresh
food sprout product. For flour - I like pinto beans.
As a primary food source, figure approximately 100 pounds of
beans per person per year. Two to four ounces of dry beans will
produce a pound or more of sprouts. From a survival sense - a person
could live on a pound of sprouted beans a day. As a supplemental
food source in which you will add grains, seafood, game meats, or
other food products, then 50 pounds of beans per year per person
is probably adequate to have on hand. Likewise, some of this supply
might possibly be planted, thereby fully replicating your annual
supply in one 60 to 75 day growing season. One pound of planted
beans could produce 50 pounds or more at harvest. I have opted for
a supplemental supply system for our needs. Purchasing 2 to 4 pounds
of beans a week, you will soon have your supply even with daily
or "sprout test" quantities removed.
I use two plastic totes (10 gallon capacity). Each will hold
approximately 45 to 60 pounds of beans, is easily portable, and
requires only a small amount of storage space. (You could actually
use your stacked totes as end or coffee tables if space is a premium.)
I immediately re-package each pound of beans I purchase. I also
sprout test a couple of ounces from each package/variety to check
for viability. If sprout viability is poor - then I separate and
use that package (s) as a cooked bean product or for flour as soon
as convenient. Quart size zippered bags will easily hold one to
two pounds of beans per. Press excess air from each bag as you seal
them. Likewise, they may be reused as desired.
There are several so called "sprout farms" on the
market today. Likewise, a "sprouter" can be as simple
as a quart jar, topped with plastic window screen, the jar ring
or a rubber band. I discovered however that beans sprout best in
a lightless environment i.e. the sprouts will reach greater lengths
if searching for light. I therefore developed my own "sprout
farm" or "system" if you please. I use an opaque
(cream colored) plastic dish pan measuring approximately 12 x 14
x 5 inches. I form a lid from heavy duty aluminum foil. Likewise,
I found that mesh bags constructed from plastic window screen measuring
approximately 7 x 10 or 8 x 12 (depending on gross measurement of
raw material) worked best for sprouting beans. From a roll of plastic
window screen - say 32 inches wide - I measure off 24 inches. Fold
the fabric once to 12 inches. From this you can cut four 8 inch
bags from the 32 inch width. With the fold being the bottom of the
bag, then you only need to seam each side of the bag on a sewing
machine using the longest stitch length - tacking at each end of
the seam. You could also whip-stitch the edges with a hand needle
and thread if you don't have a sewing machine. Even though the dish
pan will hold up to 8 to 10 bags of fully sprouted beans - I typically
use five bags - since I usually sprout 5 varieties of beans per
run. For me, this system constitutes a simple, but very productive
"sprout farm" that requires little more than a square
foot of space. While sprouting - the "sprout farm" can
be placed anywhere that is convenient in your (heated space) with
a preferential temperature range of 65 to 85 degrees. (70 to 75
degrees being optimal). This sprout farm will produce approximately
5 pounds of sprouted beans a week (using 5 bags). This is very adequate
as a supplemental food supply or for mainstay supply, I would operate
two of these units. (For a family of 2 to 4).
Any food processing requires good sanitation practice. I like
the above sprout farm because it is easy to maintain a sanitary
environment. I use one part household bleach to 4 parts water in
a spray bottle for all my kitchen sanitizing. This solution will
kill all bacteria and viruses known even including HIV. Since beans
come from the field and may contain soil borne contaminates, plus
those they may have picked up in handling, I briefly wash all beans
for sprouting in this solution - either dipping or spraying and
rinsing in chlorinated tap water immediately.
Likewise, I choose the smaller varieties of beans because they sprout
faster and more consistently with less risk of "souring"
than do some of the larger varieties of beans. Into each bag, measure
approximately two ounces of beans or about 1/3 of a cup or 1/8 of
a one pound bag of dry beans. Sanitize each bag with either a through
sanitizing spray or dip and rinse immediately. Place the bags in
the dish pan and add enough tepid chlorinated tap water (99 to 100
degrees) to cover bags. Allow the beans to soak 2 to 4 hours to
activate the dry beans. (Note: prolonged soaking as in overnight
can drowned the beans and they will not sprout well).
If your tap water is not chlorinated, it is probably ok, but should
be tested annually for un-friendly bacteria. Otherwise, you can
chlorinate your sprouting water with about a half a cap full of
household bleach per gallon of water.
After the initial soak, rinse and drain the beans twice daily (morning
& evening) in tepid tap water right in the dish pan, draining
each time just so water drains freely and stops running. Do not
allow beans to dry out. We want a moist but not soggy environment.
Cover the dish pan with a single or double layer of heavy kitchen
foil to minimize light. Repeat this process daily for 4 to 6 days
until beans have nice ¾ to 1 inch long sprouts. Yes they
will have some roots too.
On the final day, complete a final rinse, then either using a salad
spinner or just allowing them to drain very well in a colender ,
then spread the sprouted beans out on a towel and expose them to
room light for two or three hours to allow them to "green"
a bit. You will see the formation of a tiney leaf at the end of
the sprout and this completes the nutritional explosion of the humble
bean. The sprouted beans may now be mixed and stored in a zippered
plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week - where indeed
they continue to grow very slowly while you use them. You should
use or discard them after about a week. Incredibly, this wonderful
living food - is ready to eat! Simply wash/rinse the bags and dish
pan using the sanitizing solution and hot water and start another
As both a survival food and as part of a daily diet, sprouted
beans are ready to eat. I love them fresh as a raw vegetable perhaps
sprinkled with a little red or white wine vinegar. (Yes you may
eat them with your fingers!) You can also use them fresh as a slaw
or mixed with other salad greens dressed as you like. For their
greatest food value (as a living food) do try them raw.
I eat 2 to 4 cups per day and even my grandchildren love them at
meals and as a unique snack food. Indeed, you can live off of this
product because it is very nearly a perfectly complete food. (Quite
divinely appointed). You can also cook your sprouted beans by steaming,
microwave, or added to soups, stews, stir fried, literally in any
way that you would use a fresh cooked vegetable. Sprouted beans
can be chopped or puree and added to breads, muffins, griddle breads
for a big nutritional power boost.
They are wonderful fresh (raw) or steamed for cold or hot sandwiches
of every description. I frequently saute them with onions basil,
Italian herbs, garlic and fresh or canned tomatoes - then puree
with a hand blender for an excellent pasta sauce that people swear
has meat in it. A quick stir fry with bits of chicken or shrimp
served over rice or pasta - a gourmet delight!
So, this is my KISS Survival Food System, consisting of a years
supply of dry beans, a highly productive sprouting (sprout farm)
device that requires very little space, is profoundly portable,
requires virtually no energy to maintain, minimal maintenance, minimal
storage space for the whole system, yet produces a profound amount
of wonderful living food that I can use daily and as a survival
food system even should I have to flee my normal living quarters.
The whole system comes together for less than $100. and saves me
a small fortune annually in fresh food cost while being very simple
to maintain and manage. Likewise, since it is incorporated with
my daily nutrition - I would have no difficulty should my nutritional
needs suddenly become dependent upon it. Besides, this is what God
told me to do - and I choose NOT to argue. KISS: (keeping it simply
spiritual) and (keeping it simply simple). I'm just so grateful
that I asked for a simple solution and got it! Interesting that
this simple system could feed the world if necessary.
To enhance my Survival Food System, I also store simple flavorings
such as onion powder, garlic flakes, red pepper flakes, whole black
pepper corns and some dried herbs. I also have 25 pounds of brown
rice and rotate an assortment of dry pasta. All fit nicely within
the KISS system and three portable totes.
I hope that by my sharing this KISS Survival Food System you too
will receive the blessings of good health daily and in the event
of a crisis - you too will be prepared to survive very well. In
a real crisis - a hand full of beans could also become your money
to acquire something else that you need or desire. Indeed, the humble
bean might well be God's greatest food gift for everyday and survival
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