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Cowpeas: 4 X Survival Food

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There is no single perfect survival food to grow primarily due to the climate where you live and other factors, but a few plants have risen to the top of the list. The Cowpea (Black Eyed Pea) is one of those. Cowpeas are the survival food times 4 because the dried peas can be cooked and eaten, sprouted and eaten, planted and the leaves as well as the peas harvested and eaten. Cowpeas are an ideal survival food because they are a dense dehydrated food that can be stored forever. They are inexpensive as well.

I was quite impressed by the quality of the leaves as a food source. Consider the following: Cowpea leaves are produced commercially for human consumption in 25 African and Asian countries. The leaves that can be cultivated from a single plant can contain up to 9 times the calories and 15 time the protein as the peas from the same plant. Over 2 metric tons of fresh leaves can be produced per crop on one acre of land and typically 2 or more crops can be produced per year. This is in addition to any of the peas grown.

Cowpeas can be grown along with other crops such as corn for better utilization of land. Unused plant matter can be turned under to increase nitrogen compound in the soil (a natural plant based fertilizer). Cowpea plants can be added to some animal feed. It typically can be grown on poor soil that almost entirely sand and almost no organic matter. Its roots go down deep so it is somewhat drought tolerant and yet it is shade tolerant as well. Dry cowpeas can consist of as much as 25 percent protein.

From personal experience, I was impressed with how well Cowpeas can be sprouted (as in growing bean sprouts). In my opinion, cowpea sprouts taste better than regular soaked and cooked cowpeas. Cowpeas and other sprouts can be added to other foods such as canned soup as an extender. You can double the volume of a can of soup for pennies.

As a side note in regard to sprouting, virtually all dehydrated foods are dead. That does not mean they are not nutritious and life sustaining. Sproutable beans and seeds are the only dehydrated foods that are alive. This dehydrated food can be grown into fresh vegetables in a few days. The process of soaking the beans and seeds before sprouting rehydrates this dehydrated food. Then the sprouting process causes the food to grow beyond the original volume, weight, and nutritional value it had before dehydration. Try doing that with dehydrated beef stew.

Other noteworthy beans:

Chickpea (AKA Garbanzo) also has edible leaves that contain a higher percentage of minerals than cabbage and spinach. It is also easy to sprout.

Winged beans: apparently the only part of the plant that humans don’t eat is the stems. The seeds/beans should be cooked for easy digestion. This bean contains about 30 percent protein (some sources claim higher). This bean is another sproutable. One source says sprouts can be eaten raw.

One more plant worth mentioning:

If you live in the southeastern part of the United States you probably are familiar with a plant called Kudzu. It can be found from East Texas to Virginia and everywhere in between. Some areas are overrun with it and it is considered a noxious weed. But every part of the kudzu plant is edible and it can be used as feed for grazing animals. If this plant grows where you live, you may already have the perfect survival food.

A few sources:

Here is how to make your own sprouter for under a dollar. It works really well:




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      Thank you!

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