Roots And Tubers

yerrag

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The topic of starch has become more interesting for me lately. It starts with Ray Peat advocating potato over rice and wheat, to name a few seed-based starches. Potato is a root crop, and it doesn't suffer the stigma of being called a seed. A seed would contain anti-nutrients, is the plant's way of discouraging animals from foraging on it. Anti-nutrients would make the seed more difficult to digest, and would cause irritation and inflammation, and increase the production of serotonin, the downstream effect being less efficient energy production, and over a period of time, degeneration and acceleration in aging.

Potato is just one root crop of many. It has a good amino acid profile, according to Ray Peat. And I'm interested in finding out if it is the best root crop. There are different kinds of yams, sweet potatoes, cassava and there is even an underwater tuber call lotus root. While there isn't much variety in the US, the same cannot be said in Asia.

I took a sampling, and checked on lotus root, and found something interesting. Lotus root has seven times as much glycine than either tryptophan and methionine. On the other hand, potato has twice as much glycine only. Although I'm not qualified to make any judgment on its amino acid profile taken altogether, I wonder if anyone here can.

I readily admit my interest in raising koi led me to look into this. It comes as no coincidence to me that the premium koi food use potato starch, while the regular koi food use wheat. While the price of premium koi food is prohibitive and I haven't used them, the makers of such koi food claim that with the use of potato starch, there is less waste produced over feed made with wheat as binders. Knowing that potato has none of the anti-nutrient properties of wheat, I think the claim is legitimate. Thinking about what possible carbohydrate a koi could eat in the wild, I thought about the lotus root, and imagine the koi dredging up the lake bottom and eating the lotus root.

Anyway, that was just an aside. I now think about hogs and chicken doing the same thing as koi, "dredging up" the land and eating roots and tubers for their carbohydrates. What if we had a root and tuber agricultural economy, and what if we can raise pigs and poultry with these, and have pork and chicken with a lot less PUFA?
 

dfspcc20

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Dec 9, 2015
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Not really answering your question, but I found this about George Washington Carver. It comes from a reader letter in a WAPF publication, which I know there a mixed feelings for here. Not endorsing them, just attributing the source. I felt it related the "root and tuber agricultural economy".

Last summer our family visited Tuskegee, Alabama and toured the George Washington Carver Museum. While in the gift shop I picked up three booklets written by Dr. Carver when he worked with the Tuskegee Institute’s Agriculture Experiment Station. I was reading through one from November 1936, which was all about sweet potatoes, their cultivation, uses and recipes.

I came across instructions on how to make compost fertilizers from two loads of leaves and muck (muck is simply the rich earth from the swamp) which are spread out in a pen. One load of barnyard manure is spread over this. Readers were advised to “begin your compost heap now; do not delay; let every spare moment be put in the woods raking up leaves or in the swamps piling up muck.” We are told doing this “will pay you many times in the increased yield of crops.”

Earlier sections bemoan the “leachy” nature of the soils at the station there in east Alabama, saying that it was prone to washing away. What grabbed my attention was the paragraph detailing the results from using the leaf and muck compost at the Experiment Station: “Three acres of our experimental farm has had no commercial fertilizer put upon it for fifteen years. The land has been continually cropped, but has increased in fertility every year, both physically and chemically, on no other fertilizer than muck compost and the proper rotation of crops. This year two hundred fifteen bushels of sweet potatoes were made per acre, with no other fertilizer than the above compost.”

Dr. Carver is well known for finding hundreds of uses for the peanut, but this booklet shows his creativity didn’t stop with peanut butter as it contains dozens of creative uses for sweet potatoes, including over forty recipes. One for sweet potato croquettes caught my eye. You’d never see a recipe like this in a modern publication from the USDA Ag Extention Service! It calls for two cups of cooked mashed sweet potato to be combined with two egg yolks, formed into croquettes and rolled in more egg and bread crumbs, then fried “in hot lard to amber color. Serve on napkins.”
 

yerrag

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Sweet potatoes! They are hardy crops. It is what many people subsisted on during periods of war. They flee to the boondocks and live on it. In the scorched earth policy of armies to deprive their enemy of food, and to subject them to annihilation, they can easily burn fields of grain crops. But they can't destroy sweet potato crops as easily. They can be planted inconspicuously, and mirror the cloaked nature of guerillas that fade into the population.
 
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