Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Book Review: Sprouts, The Miracle Food

I often get asked what books I would recommend to advanced preppers so they can skip the basics which they know and move on to more advanced stuff. Well folks I have one for you called Sprouts The Miracle Food: The Complete Guide to Sprouting by Steve Meyerowitz. If you are advanced in your food program to the point where you are looking at finding sources of information to supplement your current plan this book is a great example of what you should look for. Books that specialize in an area are what I recommend advanced preppers read...but only after you have the basics down and have a food storage program in place (in it's most basic form).

A book like this is one of those resources I keep telling people to look for when they are interested in a topic introduced by a beginner book and would like more information. In depth coverage on a topic justifies and entire book on the subject, canning is a perfect example; it is a sufficiently complex and potentially dangerous process that I would recommend reading a book on the subject. Sprouting is one of those topics as well. If sprouting is done right you can have a renewable, nutrious and more importantly FRESH suppliment to any storage plan you have in place.

What is sprouting you ask? Well in short it is very young plants that are eaten shortly after germination...sprouts can be eaten in some cases in a week from the time you started the process. They are nutritious and can be grown in very limited space and are relatively easy to grow. Common plants to be sprouted are alfalfa, fenugreek, mung beans, lentils, peas, radish, and red clover...among others.

This book is all about sprouting, the equipment needed (not much really), the process and the benefits. It is really hard to do a mechanical type review on a book like this, by that I mean chapter by chapter. Instead for this book I will just go over what the author covers, starting with the very basics. He covers why to sprout, how to sprout and the benefits of doing it which include economic AND health reasons.

The author cover a multitude of seeds that can be sprouted and the care that each will need. Topics like what to grow, how to grow it and what the heck do I do with it now that I have it. Storage environment and life expectency of the sprouts are all covered in order to facilitate planning. Planning is required of course to always ensure you have fresh sprouts available as you consume your latest harvest. It is a cycle that if planned carefully will allow you to always have "fresh produce" available.

Included in this book is an advanced section where some of the more difficult things to sprout or anything that requires a little more attention is covered. The author as an extra bonus has a small section on composting and a very well put together question and answer section where "Sproutman" as he is affectionately called answers some of the most common questions he gets asked.

The book is an easy read and the author makes sprouting which could be a VERY boring subject, interesting. I cannot for the life of me remember where I had heard about this book but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. My wife is even reading it now and we plan to try some sprouting once the regular garden is done for the year. The book is interesting if you are looking for a little more advanced knowledge on one aspect of a good food storage program and I do recommend it to those in search of something a little more narrow (or focused) than your average survival food book.

...that is all.

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  1. Very cool, I have been thinking about trying to do the sprouting thing for awhile. There is a place here in town that sells bags of organic sprouting seeds in bulk

  2. I would think that you would need a consistent supply of seeds for this to ever be a viable food source. While you may eat the little plants right after they sprout, from my experience most plants take awhile to produce their own seeds. It therefore stands to reason you would then need a huge amount of seeds for this to ever suffice as some type of survival food. That being said I know next nothing about these type of plants and it is an interesting idea.

  3. He shows you how in the book to harvest multiple gerations of sprouts from a single planting using a vertical sprouter. He describes how with an investment of between $50-100 bucks you can grow hundreds of pounds of sprouts.

    Of course it is not self sustaing but if you plan things correctly in a time of crisis you could have a reliable source of sprouts for quite a long time. Once again this is meant as a supplement to a regular garden and food stores or whatever else your plan entails.

    Very few people have the skills, resources or land for that matter to be completely self sustaining for all time. (There are the exceptions but I know I am not one of them).