In with the Good
Most cereals and legumes (grains and beans) have something called phytic acid in them. It can be up to five percent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The video (subscribe to watch this post’s video) in this post is free to view by anyone. Please make comments or ask questions if you want. If you have subscribed to our Substack – paid or not – you got links to other videos as well. Please consider subscribing, and helping us out if you can.
Our videos are viewable whenever, and from anywhere you have internet access. Most are closed captioned making them easy to understand or to translate into another language. Here’s a short video on the history and role of fermentation.
The new October showcase of videos for monthly and annual subscribers is now available, with dozens of new videos currently streaming. Join us? Annual Membership and Annual Subscriptions is now only $30. You can do that here or at our PayPal site.
There are also 200+ videos in our other showcases. New passcodes are available, so contact us if you are a Paying Subscriber or Annual Member. Videos are streaming now. There are 3 months left in 2023. At this point, you get a full membership until the end of 2023.
Vimeo is where Annual Members, and Substack subscribers, access all our videos. It’s where events take place.