When people think about a disaster situation, they often think of stocking up canned foods and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) as a way to ensure food through the crisis. However, there is a surprising (and relatively common) food that you should consider stockpiling for several reasons, including it’s surprisingly high nutritional value. What is this food?
What are wheat berries? Jolinda Hackett says,
“Wheatberries are the whole grain form of wheat – the whole, complete grain before it has undergone any processing.”
So, why wheat? Backdoorsurvival.com, referencing author John Hill, says that some of the reasons to store wheat are:
- Wheat is nutritious (typically 13% to 20% protein)
- Wheat is high in gluten – necessary for quality bread making
- Wheat stores well
- Wheat is relatively inexpensive
But why wheatberries over ground wheat flour? Ron Brown says,
The answer is shelf life. You may be able to store flour for a few months or even a few years. But sooner or later it will turn rancid. And in all likelihood it will “get wormy,” as my farm-bred mother phrased it.
In contrast, unground wheat berries (given the right moisture content, protected from insects, etc.) will potentially last for decades if not centuries.
The moment a wheat berry is ground, it begins to lose its nutritional punch. Within 24 hours of being cracked open and ground, 60% of the beneficial nutrients in a kernel of wheat have vanished due to oxidization. Within 3 days, more than 80% of the nutrients are gone.
Not only does flour lose its nutritional value, it begins going comes rancid very quickly, Rancidity occurs within 3-6 months for whole wheat flour and within approximately a year for processed white flour. This happens because the oils begin to oxidize. Foods made from rancid products taste less appealing, but that isn’t the worst of it. The rancidity is actually quite dangerous.
You’ll also want to have on hand a grinder, a sprouting system to prepare your wheatberries for planting, and some recipes on hand to make use of the wheat that you choose to eat instead of plant.
In the light of this variety of benefits, it’s worth considering adding wheatberries to your long-term survival plans.