Survival Kitchen–Why Wheat is King

My guest on DestinySurvival Radio this weekwas John Hill, author of How to Live on Wheat. We discussed why wheat is king. John is well spoken and shared a wealth of information about storing and using wheat.

I’ve featured this book here before as a DestinySurvival Pick. I’ve also created a page for listeners to the program to view and order the book which you can view here. I highly recommend it for your survival library. It’s short and loaded with practical information.

John grew up in the 1950’s in the Missouri Ozarks and is familiar with a simpler way of life. It was in 1994 when he wrote the first edition of How to Live on Wheat. He was looking into things that were practical and economical for preparedness.

Why wheat? Because it is fairly inexpensive and has a long storage life.

Wheat maintains its integrity without a hull, unlike many other grains. It’s also a source of protein, though most of us might not think of it as such. It contains more protein than corn or rice. It’s the gluten that helps with bread making.

The book’s title should get your attention. When you read the words “How to Live on Wheat,” you might think wheat is all you need to live on. But don’t try. Even people in ancient times didn’t live on wheat only. As wonderful and versatile as it is, you need more than wheat to live on in a survival situation.

Yes, grains in general are an important part of our diet because they’re sources of protein, vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates. And adding legumes helps provide additional protein. Sprouting grains brings out still more vitamins and minerals. And you need to add greens and vegetables to have a balanced diet.

Not all storage foods are meant to be packed in Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. These bags and absorbers are best used to store anything that contains oils or fats and could spoil, such as flour or dairy products.

Grains are live and contain antioxidants and enzymes which help to keep them from spoiling. If grains die, then they’re vulnerable to spoilage. Living grains are sproutable seeds, so limiting all oxygen exposure isn’t necessary or wise.

If you’ve got wheat stored up and aren’t sure of its viability, take out 100 grains and do a germination test. Hill discusses this in his book. He also gives directions for determining the moisture content of your grain.

Grains will last longest when kept cool and dry. Any grains that contain too much moisture may become moldy. When that happens, the grain should be thrown out because it contains toxins which can cause illness or even death.

If you’re using desicants to help keep your grain dry, you can tell if they’ve reached their moisture holding capacity when they change color. They can be regenerated by putting them in the oven at a low temperature.

Diatomaceous earth is a non-harmful insecticide, which you may want to sprinkle into your wheat to kill off weevils or other insects. Watch the label when you purchase it to be sure it’s food grade.

If you’re unable to find local sources for food storage wheat, How to Live on Wheat has helpful info on resources. Buy organic, non-GMO grain whenever possible. One source is Another source is Miller’s Grain House. Mention DestinySurvival when ordering.

What about growing your own wheat? Could you have a garden or plot large enough to supply your needs? Hill says to do so would require a good section of an acre and is quite labor intensive, compared to growing your own corn.

If you believe you have sensitivities or allergies to wheat or other grains, try sprouting them. The nutrients and enzymes may be easier for you to digest. Also, vary your diet as much as possible. Of course, you may need to consider storing foods you know you’re not sensitive to.

Making flour from sprouted wheat converts starches into sugars. Make your own sprouted flour by sprouting the wheat just enough to crack the seed coat. Then run the grain through a hand meat grinder. Add the paste that comes out with your other bread making ingredients to produce a superior quality bread.

How to Live on Wheat contains an abundance of recipes, which Hill has tried himself. He also gives directions for starting your own sourdough culture. He recommends experimenting while cooking and having fun.

Wheat gluten can even be made into a meat substitute. Though its protein is different than real meat, it provides an alternative source of protein for vegetarians. Hill describes how to extract the gluten for this purpose. However, making your own meat substitute is rather labor intensive and may not be practical.

How to Live on Wheat covers other grains and legumes briefly, too. For a few dollars, you can have a storehouse of knowledge on storing and using wheat, grains and legumes. Get your copy by clicking on the book’s title wherever you see it in this post. That takes you to the page where you can place your order.

When you’re storing wheat for survival, it’s essential to do it right. How to Live on Wheat will help you do just that.

The original link no longer works for DestinySurvival Radio for February 3, 2011. Hear the repackaged interview here.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.