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Amaranth grain

This is a diary which will try to bring to the attention of those that are interested in food resources a grain that may well be what saves the human race from starving to death. It is an ancientt grain, grown by early American civilizations. The article linked above, one of many that I will be using, says

Amaranth has a long and interesting history in Mexico where it's been grown and harvested for thousands of years by the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The Aztecs believed Amaranth had magical properties that would give them amazing strength.

Because it was important culturally to the Aztecs, the conquistadors did their best to eradicate it. Fortunately for us, they were not entirely successful. I say fortunately because it may be the grain that saves us from mass starvation on a global scale.

More below the fold..

Amaranth is a very interesting plant. It will grow just about anywhere, under conditions that would kill any other food plant. It needs a little water when planted and can do without until harvest if necessary. Amaranth will grow in poor soil, in rich soil, and in rocky or clayey soil that other crops will not grow in.

Mixed with corn flour or meal, amaranth flour or meal, is a complete food for humans. It has all the proteins and amino acids the human body requires for maintenance.

Amaranth is also a dual crop, the grain is a foodstuff for people, the stalks and leaves combined with corn stalks and leaves, are a complete feed for livestock. It can be fed in round bales or as silage.

Amaranth puts nitrogen back into the soil naturally, eliminating the need for artificial nitrates which run off and pollute the water ways. A field can be kept in good shape by rotating amaranth with corn without adding any artificial fertilizer.

 Amaranth’s great nutritional qualities are the driving force powering it’s comeback. It’s high in protein, particularly in the amino acid, Lysine, which is low in the cereal grains. In fact, Amaranth has the highest lysine content of all the grains in this study with Quinoa coming in a close second. To make your whole wheat bread a complete protein, substitute about 25% of your wheat flour with Amaranth flour. Amaranth, by itself, has a really nice amino acid blend. Just 150 grams of the grain is all that’s required to supply an adult with 100% of the daily requirement of protein. Amaranth is one of the highest grains in fiber content. This makes Amaranth an effective agent against cancer and heart disease. Amaranth is also the only grain in this study that contains significant amounts of phytosterols which scientists are just now learning play a major part in the prevention of all kinds of diseases. Amaranth is also rich in many vitamins and minerals.

Amaranth must be cooked before it is eaten because it contains components in it’s raw form that block the absorption of some nutrients in our digestive system. You should cook Amaranth whether you plan on giving it to your family or your pets.

Here is the table comparing amaranth with wheat. Stunning to say the least.

Nutrients in 100 Grams of Amaranth

                      Unit       Amount   % More
                       of          In      Than
Nutrient              Measure    Amaranth   Wheat

Food energy                KCal:    374.000      114
Protein                    Gms:     14.450      115
Total lipid (fat)          Gms:      6.510      423
Total saturated fat        Gms:      1.662      618
Ttl monounsaturated fat    Gms:      1.433      717
Ttl polyunsaturated fat    Gms:      2.891      461
Total dietary fiber        Gms:     15.200      121
Ascorbic acid              Mg :      4.200    Infinite
Riboflavin                 Mg :      0.208      181
Folacin                    Mcg:     49.000      129
Potassium                  Mg :    366.000      101
Calcium                    Mg :    153.000      528
Phosphorus                 Mg :    455.000      158
Magnesium                  Mg :    266.000      211
Iron                       Mg :      7.590      238
Zinc                       Mg :      3.180      120
Copper                     Mg :      0.777      179
Palmitic acid (16:0)       Gms:      1.284      549
Oleic acid      (18:1)     Gms:      1.433      746
Linoleic acid (18:2/n6)    Gms:      2.834      472
Phytosterols               Mg :     24.000    Infinite
Histidine                  Gms:      0.389      136
Isoleucine                 Gms:      0.582      127
Leucine                    Gms:      0.879      103
Lysine                     Gms:      0.747      223
Methionine                 Gms:      0.226      112
Threonine                  Gms:      0.558      153
Tryptophan                 Gms:      0.181      113
Valine                     Gms:      0.679      122
Arginine                   Gms:      1.060      178
Alanine                    Gms:      0.799      176

(Sorry about the wiggly table, I tried to correct, but wasn't able to make it work right.)

Amaranth can be grown successfully in just about every place on the planet, from Nepal to South America, from India to East Africa. It grows in poor soils, and improves them while growing.

Here are some links to pages that will give you more information, and recipes, on amaranth.

Puente a la Salud Comunitaria

Special Foods

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Originally posted to Demfem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the info (8+ / 0-)

    I have heard of this before.  My son tried planting some many years ago for a science fair project.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat Wednesday evenings 8 PM EST

    by cfk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:02:30 PM PDT

  •  Tastes Great! (16+ / 0-)

    More filling!

    I actually like amaranth.  I mix it with quinoa and fruit for a really nutritious breakfast porridge.

    However, I have tried to grow it with almost no success.  I can get it to germinate, but then my seedlings didn't grow.  They just stayed the same size (tiny) for weeks.  When I planted the seedlings they disappeared (probably the rabbits).

    People in this country need to expand their food horizons.  There are grains out there that are tasty and more nutritious than wheat and corn out there.

    "Dissent is the Highest form of Patriotism." Tommy J.

    by Dissentinator on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:06:47 PM PDT

    •  Seriously? (7+ / 0-)

      Almost every seed I planted grew (and these are tiny seeds!)  And I put way too many seeds in each planter pot because I didn't expect many to make it, so they were crammed in like sardines and I had to separate them with very invasive means.  And all of the separated ones survived!  I ended up giving away hundreds of plants.

      I love amaranth, just from the decorative aspect alone.  Its flower heads are big and a gorgeous crimson.  When you thresh out the grain, they're like tiny beads of hematite -- they even have that same sort of hematite shimmer.  We baked the grain, whole, into bread for texture.

      Speaking of amaranth, I should order some fresh seed for this year's garden...

    •  Sprouted is likely more nutritious (0+ / 0-)

      While you may not be able to make them grow, if you like the taste then they are healthier having been sprouted. :)

      Sprouts can be derived not only from alfalfa and beans, but also from nuts and many types of grains, including several (like wheat, barley, rye and buckwheat) that most of us typically eat in their more conventional milled-flour form. Once sprouted, a cup of these grains can contain as much as 25 percent of the recommended daily value for protein — complete proteins with all 10 essential amino acids — and high levels of vitamin A, B, C, E and K. Research has shown that sprouted grains contain more vitamins (especially B and C) than the grain seeds themselves, and that they are are also fine sources of calcium and magnesium.

      Another benefit: The sprouting process accomplishes part of the work of digestion for you, according to Mirkin. Starches are converted to sugars, fats are used up as energy for growth, and proteins are broken down into amino acids.

      As a result of all this activity, sprouted grains wind up being less calorie-dense than their unsprouted counterparts, explains Mirkin, “because the sprouting process consumes a significant portion of the calories.”

      Sprouts are also rich in active enzymes, which may further assist with their digestibility. Mirkin says he often prescribes sprouted grains for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, not just because of the high fiber content, but also because they have been shown to contain certain fatty acids that protect the stomach lining.

      People with gluten allergies also find that sprouting or soaking grains makes them more easily digestible, according to Gittleman. She designed what she calls a “fat-flush tortilla,” made entirely from sprouted grains and seeds. The sprouted grains give the tortilla “a delicious nutty flavor,” she says. “And unlike with regular tortillas, you can be really satisfied by eating just one.” The fat-flush tortillas are made by Minneapolis-based French Meadow Bakery (www.frenchmeadow.com), which also produces a number of yeast-free, sprouted-grain breads for national distribution.

      “Sprouting the grains completely and using a yeast-free natural leavening process are both very important,” says Lynn Gordon, the bakery’s founder. “Both processes break down the complex carbohydrates and make the bread more digestible, so your body can absorb more of the nutrients.”

      Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

      by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:03:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amaranth needs to be cooked (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanRiverCanyon

        before it is eaten, by people and pets. It is not an appropriate sprout grain.

        Amaranth must be cooked before it is eaten because it contains components in it’s raw form that block the absorption of some nutrients in our digestive system.

        What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

        by Demfem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:16:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um... sprouted can be cooked (0+ / 0-)

          Repeating the last couple paragraphs for you:

          People with gluten allergies also find that sprouting or soaking grains makes them more easily digestible, according to Gittleman. She designed what she calls a “fat-flush tortilla,” made entirely from sprouted grains and seeds. The sprouted grains give the tortilla “a delicious nutty flavor,” she says. “And unlike with regular tortillas, you can be really satisfied by eating just one.” The fat-flush tortillas are made by Minneapolis-based French Meadow Bakery (www.frenchmeadow.com), which also produces a number of yeast-free, sprouted-grain breads for national distribution.

          “Sprouting the grains completely and using a yeast-free natural leavening process are both very important,” says Lynn Gordon, the bakery’s founder. “Both processes break down the complex carbohydrates and make the bread more digestible, so your body can absorb more of the nutrients.”

          If you know something that you can share that shows just what is the minimum that it can be cooked and what the issues are with eating it once  sprouted, even if raw, then please do.

          Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

          by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:27:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Further, from your own source... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon

          Amaranth can be boiled for 20 minutes in it’s whole seed form for a morning breakfast cereal. It can also be ground raw or for added flavor, it can be toasted before grinding. Try popping it like you would pop popcorn. Popped Amaranth’s uses are many as they add texture and crunchiness to breads, salads, soups and granola. Whole seed, cooked Amaranth also goes well in soups, granolas and as already mentioned, mixes well with wheat flour to make a myriad of different baked goods. Amaranth flour also makes a nice thickener for gravies, soups and stews. Sprouted Amaranth goes well in salads or prepared cereals.

          [emphasis added]

          Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

          by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:49:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  See yield info here: (11+ / 0-)

    "University of Minnesota trials at Rosemount conducted from 1977 to 1989 showed yields from 300 to 3800 lbs/a on hand-harvested plots. Realistic yields from combine-harvested plots range from 600-1500 lbs/a."
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/...

    "Dissent is the Highest form of Patriotism." Tommy J.

    by Dissentinator on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:08:38 PM PDT

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancelot, Nulwee

    Apparently a Finnish rock band agrees with you.

  •  I would agree IF (4+ / 0-)

    amaranth flour wasn't so expensive!

    The stuff's not cheap.

    Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

    by Fabian on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

  •  We use cereal with amaranth all the time (12+ / 0-)

    such as this one from Arrowhead Mills.

    Thanks for the excellent diary on this.

  •  No bearing whatsoever on it's nutritional value.. (10+ / 0-)

    but, it sure is beautiful!  :)

    While I had heard of the grain before...I did not know the historical/nutritional info on it. Quite interesting...thank you!  :)

    "In your hands lies the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit." -RFK

    by carolinadreamer on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:22:11 PM PDT

  •  and it's gluten free (10+ / 0-)

    for those so inclined to have interest.

    nice discussion.

    Time for Miles to soothe me again, because jazz is the antibush. --zic

    by homo neurotic on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:23:04 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic Diary (10+ / 0-)

    One can only hope that as hunger and water problems spiral, information like this will get to the right places, and the choke hold of Agro/Farma will be loosened enough to let this stuff take a foothold.

    There is hope!

  •  What a breath of fresh air (7+ / 0-)

    and safe harbor from the primary wars.  Thanks for teaching me something.  Recommended.

    Why won't Clinton release the tax returns? What's she hiding?

    by Same As It Ever Was on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:28:03 PM PDT

  •  Glad to see a diary on alternative crops (10+ / 0-)

    The civilized world is balanced on the knife of three grains/grasses: wheat, corn and rice. Over reliance on these three creates serious and dramatic consequences should there be any large scale crop failure. Alternatives like amaranth, quinoa, teff, and farro (type of wheat )will need to be looked at more seriously as plants to sustain our species.

    you think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see- J L

    by the fan man on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:28:31 PM PDT

  •  Was JUST pondering this about an hour ago (11+ / 0-)

    Many of my loved ones are finding they are sensitive to wheat/gluten. About ten years ago, a nutritional councelor friend predicted an epidemic of gluten sensitive related issues. Lo, it has come to pass.
    I have been converting wheat/gluten recipes for about a year now and find that it's easier than ever before. Amaranth was last month's discovery for me. Polenta like dishes with savory sauces, Cookies, pancakes, flatbreads. It's a change from gluten cooking and baking but worth it and nice to be off the wheat grid.
    Regarding the expense of the flour: I bought the grain at a healthfood store and paid an extra 48 cents to have it ground in their grinder.  
    So many great alternatives available to us...godji berries anyone?

    •  When grinding grains for gluten free status be (0+ / 0-)

      ... sure you are using a dedicated grinder or one that has been scrubbed of every last particle of wheat/barley/rye family grain residue, or you'll get cross contamination.   C- C is not a big issue for the regular people but a big issue for the gluten sensitive.

      This is why the packaged "alternative" grain gluten free products tend to be so pricey, because the good manufacturers used dedicated wheat free facilities to make sure the end product is free of wheat gluten.  

      There has been an uptick in the number of gluten sensitive people because  of several factors. First is diganosis or figuring out it is NOT just "irritable bowel"  or other auto immune disease showing up, but is the root cause, because many people may be misdiagnosed by doctors (huge problem) or be adults before the really obvious symptoms show up.  Second is awareness, because now we have the internet to communicate with each other.  Third is probably enviromental as we are eating more grain byproducts in all manufactured foods, and the wheat we eat now is different than the wheat of a 100 years ago.  There may be other stressors that tick off the intolerance, like infections, maybe, or toxins.  Fourth, would be the age of refrigeration and antibiotics allowing more people to survive their childhoods.

      About 30% of the population carries the genes pre disposing them to gluten intolerance,  but I've seen that 1 in 133 actually does develop it and that most of them are still out there "undiagnosed" or "misdiagnosed."

  •  I've been enjoying amaranth and quinoa (7+ / 0-)

    since the '80s, but in the last few years they have really started to get popular in cereals and snacks. About damn time.
    Still pricey, though, like anything other than bleached flour and high-fructose corn syrup.

  •  Cool (4+ / 0-)

    There are a whole bunch of exotic, interesting, and nutritionally valuable crops out there that just don't get grown because we're so used to the 3 big staples: wheat, corn, and rice.
    The agricultural policies of the developed countries and the genetic modification used to boost yields is all geared towards boosting the yields of those grains (especially corn.)

    Step one in diversifying our food-baskets is doing away with those policies. Rather than spending all this money trying to control crop prices, I'd rather just give and equivalent amount of money as a welfare check to every farmer and let them grow whatever they want.

  •  My neighbor (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, cfk, AmericanRiverCanyon, la urracca

    makes wonderful cookies, cakes, and candies with amaranth. I have ordered some, haven't received it yet.

    I'm so glad it's catching on.

  •  Quinoa comparison? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004, CSI Bentonville

    I'd be interested to see a comparison between amaranth and Quinoa grains.  I know Quinoa is supposed to have more protein than any other grain, but I don't know anything about yield per acreage and ease of growing and so forth.  

  •  Chickens Need That Lysine For Feathers (4+ / 0-)

    Naked chickens never got past the R&D stage.

    Believe me they tried.

    •  Most animal feeds need lysine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo

      They're based on corn, I think, which has around 0.3 grams of lysine per 100 grams of grain.  Amaranth and Quinona both have about 0.75 grams of lysine in the same 100 grams of grain.
      The corn-based feeds have to be supplemented with lysine.  Apparently lysine can be made from corn by some sort of fermentation; the microbes doing the fermenting probably produce the lysine.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:39:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's also useful medicinally (3+ / 0-)

    for stomach flu, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. As a poultice, it reduces tissue swelling and treats sores.

    It is important that people know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for. ~~ Mary Waldrop

    by Purple Priestess on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:22:25 PM PDT

  •  On my list to try. (2+ / 0-)

    I've seen amaranth in the bulk bins at the local health food store but haven't tried it yet. I love quinoa, barley, and bulgar wheat so I usually stick with those.

    Here's a handy grain cooking chart:

    http://www.vegparadise.com/...

  •  We love it popped! (9+ / 0-)

    Take a deep pan and heat it up like you would to pop popcorn, but with no oil. Be sure you have a lid handy!

    Put about a tablespoon of amaranth seeds into the pot, slam on the lid and quickly remove it from the heat. The stuff pops incredibly fast and will burn if you leave in on the burner.

    You end up with tiny little popped grains that taste a bit like popcorn. The kids add a dash of salt and eat it with a spoon, or put in a few drops of honey to stick it together into delightful little clumps. I often add it to dry cereal for breakfast, and we almost always have it along on backpacking trips, since you can't beat it for nutritional value vs. weight.

  •  It must not be the same Amaranth We tried (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I agree. It tastes terrible.

  •  I'm such a fuddy-duddy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geomoo

    We eat a lot of whole grain wheat, rice, corn and oats...

    I really should expand to amaranth, quinoa and others.

    Quick question,

    how difficult is it to harvest?

    Someday I'd like to have a plot of land, i've grown corn before, but other grains scare me for a small plot (take lots of land, labor intensive).

    How about Amaranth, can a home 'garden-farm' do it without too much hassle?

    Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

    by wclathe on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:19:08 PM PDT

  •  Amaranth rocks! (6+ / 0-)

    I live in southern Mexico where it's extremely abundant, and cheap. Every shop and street vendor has bars made of popped amaranth held together with honey (or maguey nectar), sometimes mixed with pumpkin seeds. I don't see it cooked very often in restaurants, but popped it'll appear in salads or cereals, besides those ubiquitous bars. There's a pride associated with it too, as it's been cultivated for millenia.

    great diary.

  •  Wow! And thus a whole new world opens. (2+ / 0-)

    I found this diary stunning.  How could I not have known about this.  I'm on board.  I'm going to try growing a very small quantity here in So. Cal. just to check it out.

    The only frame change that matters: the corporate media = propaganda machine. Americans must find their news elsewhere.

    by geomoo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:55:43 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the great diary (2+ / 0-)

    I had heard of amaranth several years ago and never followed up. You had now inspired me to go forward and try again in finding this incredible product.

    Local even if it is a continent seems to be the message!

    He who knows he has enough is rich - Tao Verse 33 more or less

    by TX Scotia on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:22:02 PM PDT

  •  Protein is over-rated (0+ / 0-)

    Well, you'll probably hate me by the time I'm done. Nutrition is a big part of my focus these days and we are so messed up in our ideas around it thanks to the corporate muddling.

    ~~~~

    The chart is really difficult for me to make sense out of and I wonder if you would have a link to an original I could look at.

    I believe rather than complete food you might mean complete protein. That's okay. It's nice. Quinoa is another that is a complete protein but which is remarkable only in that plant sources tend to be "incomplete" but that's not bad even though we seem to go there in our thinking.

    The thing is that despite it's celebration and for some reason our utter reverence in this country, we don't need nearly as much protein as we get. In fact, the RDA is padded to about twice our needs. The more we get the more difficult it is on us to process through and we end up using calcium to process (even leaching it from our bones giving us the contradiction of dairy) which leads to meat eaters as being among those who consume the most dairy. I was pretty amazed when I went veggie to find my craving for dairy went to nearly zero when my thinking was it would go up. I'd always been a major milk fan and now I can do with about a third or less than I did before and truthfully probably only drink it now because I buy it out of habit... some things die hard.

    So... from plant sources we not only can but do get all the protein we need (as well as calcium, ironically in a better form) and then some.

    As far as complete and incomplete that's not so much a worry as all we really need is a variety (and not a big one despite what the word conjures up) of plant sources as some offer what others don't. The standard -- but by no means exhaustive -- we are familiar with being beans and rice. We also don't need to eat the complementary proteins in the same meals, despite that persistent myth, as our body is quite efficient at sorting these things out. The amino acids just hang until a partner comes along and then they dance for us. :)

    It is nice as it's whole. Wheat, rice, good corn (not the crap that's been engineered for biotech profit) are all much better when whole too. Rice is nice because of it's near non-existance of allergenic characteristics.

    I'd be more interested in how amaranth stacks up against some other foods considered grains such as quinoa, millet and chia (yes, of the "pet" fame --which is the one I think we should get much more of as it's very high in Omega 3).

    Sprouting the seeds (like alfalfa) would add to their nutritional punch and digestability and in fact, the leafy greens of the plant are already in many cuisines. Callaloo for the Caribbean pepper pot stew as an example.

    ~~~~

    The not so good news is that not all varieties of amaranth are the eating ones and many are ornamental (likely the pretty ones, heh) but more, several are considered noxious and invasive weeds which would make some think they are easy to grow but not necessarily the same version we would want. Turns out it already grows and disrupts many crops here. Probably not unlike hemp in that regard which still grows wild all over the mid-west.

    Because it does grow so fast and therefore evolves quickly it's one of the "weeds" that has developed a resistance to Monsanto's Round-Up technology so in some ways that gives it a special place in my heart but will likely cause it to gain acceptance even slower because, as a thorn in Monsanto's side likely they won't be promoting it, and really, until Monsanto can own it then things don't get grown in this country.

    Profit. The real meaning behind, "Right to Life" in the USA.

    Also, there are precautions to amaranth in that for some people who have kidney issues, gout, arthritis, would be bothered by the high content of oxalic acid, which can also block calcium and zinc, and the nitrates get converted to nitrites when reheated.

    So... while I'm not so sure I'd go so far to say it would save the world, I do think we should be far more aware of other foods out there, trying them and incorporating them into our diets and creating a demand for them. Frankly it's folly to rely on just a few foods which we have been doing and getting worse. Also, some people should be eating these 'grains' rather than the western grains, as they are the indigenous foods their bodies crave and thrive on.

    ~~~~

    I'd also like to know more regarding the animal feed as really, corn isn't something a lot of animals should have at all and probably none at the level it's getting shoved on them at by the corporations controlling the Industrial Food Complex.

    Thank you for bringing this to awareness for so many here.

    Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

    by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 06:51:56 AM PDT

    •  The original of the chart is on the page (0+ / 0-)

      that the first link in the diary, "ancient", in the intro, takes you to, scroll down for the chart. I spent 1/2 hour trying to make it come out right, but it just wouldn't...Sorry.

      What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

      by Demfem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I found the chart at another link (0+ / 0-)

        from another commenter where it was just as jiggley. Part of the issue is that it isn't comparing amaranth and wheat side by side but rather is showing the percentage in the third column that amaranth has *more of* than wheat. Kind of an odd way to present.

        Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

        by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Note the diary said leaves and stems as forage (0+ / 0-)

      .... farm animals MUST have forage, there is no way to get around that. They are designed to eat massive amounts of it.   We humans eat the corn and the animals get the grass leaves and stems from it. If you've ever fed something a fresh cornstalk, you know they think it's a treat.

      •  I do know that... (0+ / 0-)

        but we humans, especially of the "Western" type have a tendency to take things to extreme. If a bit is good, then lets save the world with it. Hence we have people on all or nothing diets of no-fat, no-carbs, all protein... exaggerated only slightly, and so we tend to feed our animals the same way but get ridiculous with the effort to make our waste recycle through them.

        Further, just because an animal thinks something is a treat doesn't mean it's good for them. Lots of dogs will slurp down chocolate, cats love milk, meanwhile we play goofy games trying to get them to take their meds by wrapping 'em up in hamburger or other tricky treats then feed them corn-based by products.

        And, I'm sorry but nothing can convince me that fish are meant to eat Monsanto's corn.

        Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

        by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:40:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A prime example of Western extreme... (0+ / 0-)

        From the diary's main source:

        Amaranth has a long and interesting history in Mexico where it's been grown and harvested for thousands of years by the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The Aztecs believed Amaranth had magical properties that would give them amazing strength. Because of this, it became one of the main foods of the Aztec royalty. Amaranth also held an intricate role in some of their ancient rituals. In one ritual, the seeds were crushed open, then honey and human blood were added followed by forming this reddish paste into the shapes of birds and snakes then baking it. With the coming of the Spanish into the Americas, this abominable practice was abolished. Every crop of Amaranth that could be found was burned. Punishment for possession of the grain became so harsh that even having one seed was punished by chopping off the hands.

        [emphasis added]

        I realize I was not very specific in my reasons for wanting to know more. Hope this helps you to understand me better so we can perhaps have more fruitful discussions that go forward rather than picking each other apart by looking for flaws to establish superiority over one another.

        Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

        by CSI Bentonville on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:50:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have to be the token carnivore on this site (0+ / 0-)

          ... I realize that tends to make me unpopular with the ones who believe that everyone going vegetarian is going to save the world and everybody's health in the process, but somebody has to do it.

          I consider myself a caretaker of animals and animal species, and don't wish to have them conveniently eliminated from the planet by people who persist with the thought that because we are not perfect we therefore are not moral. If an organic farmer feeds his or her free range livestock heirloom corn stalks in a drought year to supplement hay, that's wiser than sending them all to slaughter to make a point about the evils of factory farming.  Because that's biodiversity.

          •  Um... see, where and how did this go vegetarian? (0+ / 0-)

            This is absolutely, completely, utterly hilarious!

            Token carnivore?

            Are you even remotely serious?

            This is your response to mine about how people go to extremes?

            Did you mean to be an immediate example of my point?

            Why the fascination and obsession over what I don't eat??

            Covering?

            I can't believe you brought morals into this and as some sort of defense that never had to be.

            How sanctimonious!

            When, oh when, did I ever bring in morals regarding those who partake of the flesh prior to this very comment?

            Offering up protection for the organic farmer? What organic farmer? What crop circle did you pull "her" out of? Where in the conversation did I present that animals shouldn't exist? Where did I say that it was better not to feed them at all rather than feed them corn (in what effing drought????) because there is no middle ground between non-existance and confined animal feeding operations?

            Only *you* get to care about animals? Because you eat them?

            It's what I am, not who I am when it comes to you? Further you get to decide the "what" so you can fill some selfish need of your own?

            Are you not able to see people for the individuals they are?

            Would it help if I'd never come out of the pantry?

            ~~~~

            Because we can't both be good people? Therefore I have to not be? Even if you have to make me? Did it hurt when you turned yourself inside out to portray me as the one lording myself over you?

            Do you always assume the victim position or only with those who shun the game?

            What is your true need here?

            How can you be so sure you know me based just on what I might eat? That has to be the new definition of shallow. Have you discussed any of this with me? I don't think so because you've been very wrong about me and the vast majority of vegetarians.

            ASSuming?

            Really, as though ridding the world of less than 5% of the population will somehow make horse-owners safe again?

            An overwhelming majority isn't enough for you?

            I happen to agree with you on a number of things but you won't let me.

            I have information I'd pass on to you to help you with some of the stuff you might say except from what I've seen you'd use it to bash me and other vegetarians you don't even, nor will even bother to, know.

            Seriously. What do you truly know for certain about me? That I want to make you unpopular? Um... that sounds like your own insecurity but trying again to blame it on the vegetarian... that would be me this time... how 'bout that I believe everyone should go veg and it will save the world and... OH! That's it! You want to be a hero? So you manufacture scenarios?

            Do we have so much power that we really can make you feel lacking?

            But you are obviously superior as the self-appointed caretaker that must defend the animals from the likes of me.

            How's that for twisted? How did you manage to make vegetarians an animal's worse nightmare? That's some amazing contortionist thinking. 10 billion animals a year all because of the tofu'lish?

            Heh!

            Please, take some time to explore what is going on for you that I need to be put in such a tiny to go box by you and pre-emptively dealt with all the time because you have an idea already formed that has no basis in fact.

            It's completely unfair to me. But to you as well.

            You don't even respond to what I really say but rather what you want to believe I might be saying.

            I really do get the feeling you are hoping I will slip up so you can take out some pent up carnivorish anger on the "them" you see me as.

            You are looking for flaws you can blast me for solely because I'm a veg and you think I must be this, that, and the other thing. But good golly. I challenge you to find anywhere, in any comment I've ever made, anything you apparently believe about me as evidenced even just in this last response to me.

            Not to mention that of all the diaries I saw on this board pleading for the end of the horse slaughter, I don't remember seeing even one known vegetarian commenting but I can say that at least 90% were confirmed meat-eaters. How does that fit in to your rants on us evil plant eaters?

            Find just one I recommended.

            How do you justify the loudest being non-veg? Do you not see them at all because you need someone to disdain and there's no other tidy tiny minority group it's acceptably cool to hate on here but there's lots of stupid support for loathing on the rabbit foodies? Or do you over-identify with meat-eaters because a vegetarian stood you up for the prom or something?

            I swear, people must feel some serious guilt about their own choices and actions that they have to go so far out of their way to marginalize those who don't eat meat.

            Does it help?

            Do you, who judges so much, feel judged when you masticate?

            You know, horses are vegetarians too. Are you as down on them?

            ~~~~

            What might be nice is if you would consider living your life as a vegetarian for a couple months and see that it's not so much fun being on the other side of people who are so sure they know what you are all about without ever bothering to actually find out...

            Why not? I've been a meat eater so I at least have some real understanding of you. Well, maybe not because I don't get the Diet Animosity at all.

            Can you imagine if people hated on those who go gluten-free?

            We are *meant* to eat wheat! It rhymes even!

            EAT WHEAT! EAT WHEAT! It will die out if you have your way. No more muffins! What will this site do without pie?! Some land just isn't suitable for any other crop!

            Wack attention seeking Celiacs all over this board pushing their alternative grains on us regular people who see no problem with bread in every dish! Going on and on about how we just don't understand.

            Heh...

            But at the very least it would sure be nice if you would just see me as a person who just eats differently than you do rather than eats a certain way out of inherent evilness, obviously only to agitate you personally.

            Like maybe I eat Sri Lanken food or something. Whatever it takes. You've shown a remarkable ability to believe something else based on chosen misconceptions which causes so many missed opportunities; surely you are able to get yourself to believe something that would have a much more positive result.

            Not that I have any hope of that happening. But no matter what, even though you'll just keep doing it, as you have been, you have absolutely no right to define me.

            Of all the psycho stalkers I've had in my life, I'd never have imagined one who feels so threatened by personal food choices.

            Criminy! There's no other explanation for your comment than unlabeled snark... except I've seen your other vegetarian hit pieces. :(

            Abandon common sense all ye who enter here, the human race.

            Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

            by CSI Bentonville on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:11:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! A wonder grain....... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon

    that's great stuff.  Great diary.  Thank you!

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:58:27 AM PDT

  •  I've been growing it for a couple years now (0+ / 0-)

    It's a little time consuming to process.

    I thrash it against hardware cloth.  Then I run it
    through a very fine screen I think I bought from Seeds of Change.

    After that it needs to be winnowed either in the wind or with a fan.

    Right now I mostly just add it to my hot cereal.

    I went to a talk once where one of the things mentioned in passing was a project at the UC Santa Cruz organic garden.  One guy attempted to grow all the food he needed for a year.  He mostly ate amaranth and the space needed for it was 2500 sq ft.

    I also try and grow quinoa but I have not had any success.

    •  You, or anyone can get a screen (0+ / 0-)

      small enough for amaranth at any store that serves farmers and their equipment. When harvesting amaranth with a combine, you use an alfalfa screen, so you just go to the farm store and ask for an alfalfa screen that you can use without the combine. They will know the gauge of screen needed.

      What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

      by Demfem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 03:00:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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