(NaturalNews) Given the rapidity with which critical global events are unfolding, preparedness just makes good sense. The question isn't whether or not to be prepared - it's what to be prepared for? Earthquakes, nuclear accidents, tsunamis, power outages and gasoline shortages have been on this week's menu. Each, of course, has its own specific type of preparedness protocols. But, no matter what kind of unexpected event looms large, there is always a need for food. Food shortages could result from any of the aforementioned potential scenarios, as well as from any number of scenarios that I haven't mentioned. There are any number of ways to approach food shortage preparedness, but my preferred method is sprouts! Sprouts are, in my mind, the number one, perfect survival ration. I think that sprouting seeds belong in every household's emergency kit. Let's look at some of the reasons that I think this.
First of all, sprouting seeds have a long storage life. Sprouting seeds can be stored up to four years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They are small and lightweight and, thus, don't take up vast amounts of storage space. You can buy them already prepared for storage or simply buy them in bulk from any reputable health food store and put them in airtight, waterproof storage containers yourself. Glass canning jars with rubber-ringed lids are a good option. You want something that is rodent proof, as little critters like seeds, too! Once sealed, the sprouting seeds can be stashed in a cool, dry, dark corner of the attic or pantry for years.
The next reason that I think sprouts are ideal emergency rations is their rich, digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, beneficial enzymes and phytochemicals. Let's face it: if you are involved in an emergency situation, you want healthy, nutritious food. Crises are not the time to have to rely on empty calories. Once germinated, sprouts provide a good supply of vitamins A, E & C plus B complex. Like enzymes, vitamins serve as bioactive catalysts to assist in the digestion and metabolism of food and the release of energy. They are also essential for the healing and repair of cells. During World War II, considerable interest in sprouts developed as a result of an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University. Dr. McKay opened his article with this dramatic announcement: "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop." Well, there you have it!
Another reason that sprouts get my vote is the fact that they are extremely inexpensive. You are not tying up massive financial resources in preparedness. For example, you can get alfalfa, wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt, kamut, quinoa, sesame or amaranth for roughly eight dollars a pound. And, a pound of sprouting seeds is going to yield buckets of sprouts! If you want the Cadillac of sprouts, you could get broccoli sprouts for somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five dollars a pound. Famous for their antioxidant content, broccoli sprouts can contain up to fifty times the sulfurophane found in mature broccoli, by weight, so you get as much antioxidant in one ounce of broccoli sprouts as you would if you ate three pounds of fully grown broccoli.
There is plenty of variety available, too, with sprouts. There are dozens of types of sprouts from mung and adzukis to mustard or fenugreek. If you stashed away a handful of this and a handful of that, you would have plenty of variety to keep your emergency fare from becoming monotonous. Sprouts are really versatile and can be used in green smoothies, in place of vegetables, or in all kinds of salads. In an emergency situation, they can be mixed with stored nuts and seeds to make delicious, fortifying living food salads.
One of the highlights of sprouts is the ease of growing them. And, they can be grown 100 percent indoors, requiring very limited space. While they are growing, they do not need any refrigeration. And, under emergency conditions, they can be eaten directly from your "kitchen garden." All that is needed to grow them is a glass jar with a mesh lid. Or, you can opt for growing them in a large glass baking dish on paper towels. They have to be rinsed several times a day, so having clean water on hand is, of course, imperative. A lot of good information about various methods for growing sprouts are available on the internet and you can choose a method that will fit your particular circumstances.
Sprout seeds are easy to store. The germinated sprouts are packed with nutrition, alive, inexpensive, varied, and easy to grow in your "kitchen garden." They are ideal for your preparedness kit. But, why wait for a crisis? Why not just start enjoying them now?
About the author: Sherry L. Ackerman, Ph.D., is a socially engaged philosopher and cultural sustainability advocate. Her new book, The Good Life: How to Create a Sustainable and Fulfilling Lifestyle explores critical issues from this perspective. At the end of each chapter is a list of things that you can do to create a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle. For more information: http://www.sherryackerman.com