Out with the Bad

In with the Good

Sweet Black Garlic Cloves, and Aged Sweet Black Garlic Vinegar

Most cereals and legumes (grains and beans) have something called phytic acid in them. It can be up to five percent. 

Not good. 

Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient. Plants always have several different kinds of anti-nutrients that should be removed. 

Why? It’s in the name itself. An anti-nutrient like phytic acid prevents animals, including humans, from getting nutrition from food. 

Very bad. 

So, how are anti-nutrients removed? First off, there are quite a few things in raw or unprocessed foods that act as anti-nutrients. Mostly, because they serve as protection. 

Seeds or grains like millet or wheat or rice don’t want to be eaten. There’s just nothing in it for them. 

Sure, fruits like tomatoes like it when you eat their seeds – although you might not mean to – because animals typically run them through their systems intact. 

So, a hundred miles down the road when a well fed raccoon gets rid of the undigested seeds of an apple tree from which it ate only the tastiest and perfectly ripened fruits, that apple tree did it’s part to make apples a forever thing. 

Humans sometimes eat whole grains and seeds, but they mostly can’t digest them. Or at least not the nutrients that are crucial to survival. Plus, a lot of plants have substances that are actually toxic.

Still from Priya Mani’s Vethal

You might get away with eating them in small amounts a few times, but some things build up in your system. And mess you up. Badly.

I‘m going to save dried corn for November, but even if you grind it up finely you must cook it or otherwise remove the anti-nutritional elements and get at the nutrients to not suffer from a nasty nutritional deficiency. Especially if that’s all you eat. 

Take cassava, for example. Eating raw cassava with its anti-nutritional cyanides will eventually hurt you. Or maybe sooner than eventually. You know you should not eat cyanide, right? 

The same goes for any beans or grains that you intend to eat. Soaking them before cooking them will remove a lot of anti-nutritional elements. Sorry if that’s an inconvenient truth. But it is. 

The good part is that soaking foods with skins and hulls can increase their nutritional value. But that’s just one small part of it. 

Germinating food, cooking it, malting it, or fermenting all do that as well. While removing lots of different types of anti-nutrients. 

Kambu Koozh

Using yogurt and all it’s helpful microbes to do so as Priya Mani does in her video on Vethal, or as is done by Dr. Deepa Reddy in her fermented millet dish called Kambu Koozh video are great demonstartions of how fermentation can not just preserve food, but make it more nutritious and tastier. 

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Author: Cultures.Group

Cultures.Group shares information, educational resources, and unique experiences through online meetings and special events, and an extensive video library on fermentation, preservation, brewing, cooking, baking and how to use koji and other filamentous fungus to make tasty things. We are a collective of artists, scientists, educators, chefs, fermenters, bakers, students and advocates. One annual fee to access all the videos whenever you like, as well as any event we have during the year. Our library of digital materials serves as the foundation to create new videos and events, driven by what our members want to learn about. Our archives and events are not posted online, nor are they searchable using any search engine. You are invited to join our collective as a student, teacher, artisan, merchant, author, activist, scientist, philosopher - or someone that doesn’t consider themself especially noteworthy or knowledgeable. Want to know how fermentation, preservation, baking and cooking knowledge can help you feed your family and community during fat and lean times? Annual Membership and access to everything http://Paypal.me/FermentsandCultures https://www.instagram.com/cultures.group/ Website: https://Cultures.Group

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