Whole-kernel grains or
soybeans cannot be eaten in sufficient quantities to maintain vigor
and health if merely boiled or parched. A little boiled whole-kernel
wheat is a pleasantly chewy breakfast cereal, but experimenters
at Oak Ridge got sore tongues and very loose bowels when they tried
to eat enough boiled whole-kernel wheat to supply even half of their
daily energy needs.
Even the most primitive
peoples grind or pound grains into a meal or paste before cooking.
(Rice is the only important exception.)
Few Americans know how
to process whole-kernel grains and soybeans (our largest food reserves)
into meal. This ignorance could be fatal to survivors.
Improvised Grain Mill
The grain mill described can efficiently pound
whole-grain wheat, corn, etc., into meal and flour-thereby greatly
improving digestibility and avoiding the diarrhea and sore mouths
that would result from eating large quantities of ungrounded grain.
(1) Cut 3 lengths of pipe, each 30 inches long;
3/4-inch-diameter steel pipe (such as ordinary water pipe) is best.
(2) Cut the working ends of the pipe off squarely.
Remove all roughness, leaving the full-wall thickness. Each working
end should have the full diameter of the pipe.
(3) In preparation for binding the three pieces
of pipe together into a firm bundle. encircle each piece of pipe
with cushioning, slip-preventing tape.
(4) Tape or otherwise bind the 3 pipes into
a secure bundle so that their working ends are as even as possible
and are in the same plane-resting evenly on a flat surface.
(5) Cut the top smoothly out of a large can.
A 4-inch-diameter, 7-inch-high fruit-juice can Is ideal. If you
do not have a can, improvise something to keep grain together while
TO MAKE MEAL AND FLOUR:
(1) Put clean, dry grain ONE INCH DEEP in the
(2) To prevent blistering your hands, wear gloves,
or wrap cloth around the upper part of the bundle of pipes.
(3) Place the can (or open-ended cylinder) on
a hard, smooth, solid surface, such as concrete.
(4) To pound the grain, sit with the can held
between your feet. Move the bundle of pipes straight up and down
about 3 inches, with a rapid stroke.
(5) If the can is 4 inches in diameter, in 4
minutes you should be able to pound 1/2 lb. (one cup) of whole-kernel
wheat into 1/5 lb. of fine meal and flour, and 3/10 lb. of coarse
meal and fine-cracked wheat.
(6) To separate the pounded grain into fine
meal, flour, coarse meal, and fine-cracked wheat, use a sieve made
of window screen.
(7) To separate flour for feeding small children,
place some pounded grain in an 18 X 18-inch piece of fine nylon
net, gather the edges of the net together so as to hold the grain,
and shake this bag-like container.
(8) To make flour fine enough for babies, pound
fine meal and coarse flour still finer, and sieve it through a piece
of cheesecloth or similar material.
Unlike wheat and corn, the kernels of barley,
grain sorghums. and oats have rough, fibrous hulls that must be
removed from the digestible parts to produce an acceptable food.
Moistening the grain will toughen such hulls and make them easier
to remove. If the grain is promptly pounded or ground into meal,
the toughened hulls will break into larger pieces than will the
hulls of un-dampened grain. A small amount of water. weighing about
2% of the weight of the grain, should be used to dampen the grain.
For 3 pounds of grain (about 6 cups), sprinkle with about one ounce
(28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons) of water, while stirring constantly
to moisten all the kernels. After about 5 minutes of stirring, the
grain will appear dry. The small amount of water will have dampened
and toughened the hulls, but the edible parts inside will have remained
dry. Larger pieces of hull are easier to remove after grinding than
One way to remove ground-up hulls from meal
is by flotation. Put some of the meal-hulls mixture about I inch
deep in a pan or pot, cover the mixture with water, and stir. Skim
off the floating hulls, then pour off the water and more hulls.
Sunken pieces of hulls that settle on top of the heavier meal can
be removed with one's fingers as the last of the water is poured
off. To produce a barley meal good for very small children, the
small pieces of hulls must again be separated by flotation.
To lessen their laxative effects, all grains
should be ground as finely as possible, and most of the hulls should
be removed. Grains also will be digested more easily if they are