10 things we should do to fix our broken food system

10 things we should do to fix our broken food system

Columnist, Food  Washington Post reprint

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was the Dr. Seuss classic “If I Ran the Zoo,” in which young Gerald McGrew decides he wants none of the humdrum lions and tigers and bears. Instead, he’ll fly to Ka-Troo and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo. My fondness for that book-length Seussian fantasy of control was an early indication that I like being in charge — which could explain why I am a freelancer and an atheist.

As a nod to Dr. Seuss, I wanted to write my “If I Ran the Food System” column in anapestic tetrameter, but nothing rhymes with “crop-neutral insurance,” so I had to stick to prose.

Tamar Haspel writes Unearthed, a monthly commentary in pursuit of a more constructive conversation on divisive food-policy issues. She farms oysters on Cape Cod.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten ideas about food from a lot of people who grow it, regulate it, supply it, cook it, study it and just think about it. And the list of potential improvements, from farm to table, is long. But making the changes necessary to fix the problems in both our agriculture (pollution, greenhouse gases, soil erosion) and in our diets (too few vegetables, too many calories) requires a fundamental shift in attitude. We all have to pay attention to things that haven’t been on our radar. And so, although there are many smart suggestions floating around, I’m focusing on 10 that have a ripple effect: changes that, with luck, will beget other changes that, ultimately, can change the zeitgeist.

Because some problems began decades ago, with government incentives that rewarded production of just a few commodity crops, I’ll begin with what government can do and follow with ideas for manufacturers, consumers and farmers.

Food stamps subsidize recipients’ purchases of food — almost all foods, even unhealthful ones. 

Develop a best-practices standard. Right now, the only USDA-certified standard defines organic crops. And, while that’s an important way for producers with a focus on naturalness to find customers, every agricultural expert I’ve spoken with says it’s not an optimal standard for environmental health. Farmers are experimenting with cover cropping, no-till, precision agriculture and lots of other strategies to reduce runoff, conserve water and cut greenhouse gas emissions. If we can codify best practices, and certify the crops of farmers who use them, those farmers can attract customers willing to pay more for foods grown that way.

[What we need is a standard beyond organic]

Move to crop-neutral insurance. We are disproportionately subsidizing crops that form the backbone of what public-health experts are telling us to eat less of: processed foods and meats. We should keep helping farmers reduce risk through insurance premium help, but eliminate the supplemental programs that support commodity crops, primarily corn and soy.

[A rallying cry for a crop program that could change everything]

Overhaul SNAP. If we want to move away from subsidizing farmers for growing what’s not healthful, we should consider the same idea at the consumer level as well. Scrap the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a.k.a. food stamps), which is a cash subsidy for buying foods — almost any foods, even unhealthful ones — and reinvent it as a program that ensures Americans have access to healthful foods in their time of need. (That’s how the Women, Infants and Children program — WIC — works). And, along with it, perhaps recruit some food people — lots of us either write about or cook food for a living — to volunteer to teach classes. Let government food assistance be a ticket not just to the healthful foods we all should be eating more of, but also to help with figuring out what to do with them. That would also create demand in some “food deserts,” where wholesome foods are less available — an important step in righting that imbalance.

Teach food in schools. Over and over, I’ve heard that it’s very hard to change adults’ habits but not quite so hard to change kids’. Start ’em young, learning what’s good and what isn’t. Consider bringing back home ec, which helped generations of kids ( mostly girls) learn to cook. How about making farm visits a standard part of the curriculum? And a slaughterhouse visit a standard class trip for high school seniors?

healthy foods

fresh fruits and vegetables

Consumers can make more-informed choices if food manufacturers and vendors help with clear labeling. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)
Food manufacturers

Food manufacturers do a lot of things I take issue with. I’d like to see more-healthful products on the market. I’d like to see kids exposed to less advertising and less nutrition-free food. I’d like to see fewer products marketed as healthful when they aren’t; the new Cheerios Protein, with 18 percent more protein but seven times the sugar, stuck in my craw.

But consumers have an obligation, too. At the end of the day, someone has to buy it. If we all buy what’s bad for us and balk at what’s better, it’s tough for even well-intentioned manufacturers to change. And so I’ll confine my wish list to two:

Use sourcing as a selling point. This is beginning to happen, as more companies ask farmers to reduce antibiotic use, let chickens out of cages and eliminate gestation crates, so they can give concerned consumers a way to support those practices. Unilever is one of many companies going further, looking to source from farmers who comply with a more rigorous set of standards; it hasn’t been easy, and it won’t be easy for other companies. If there’s a best-practices standard (see above), though, and companies aren’t left to develop their own, perhaps it’ll get easier. Consumers can’t vote with their wallets unless there are better choices to be had.

Label everything. The only way consumers can vote for those better choices is if they know what goes into products. How was the broccoli grown? How was the pig treated? The Grocery Manufacturers Association recently announced an initiative that would put QR codes with hundreds of product attributes on tens of thousands of products, and I’m cautiously optimistic. I also hope the QR solution will put the ongoing debate about GMO labeling — something I’ve long supported — to bed. Knowing that something is genetically modified isn’t particularly helpful unless you know how it’s genetically modified. Disease-resistant or herbicide-tolerant? Boilerplate language on the box can’t get into such detail, but information accessed via QR Codes can. And codes can be made accessible by putting scanners in stores.

[Is the fight over GMO labeling worth it?]

One way consumers can get closer to food: Grow something.

Vote with your wallet. Look for those labels and buy the products that align with your priorities. Create a demand for products grown with best practices. Food companies respond to consumer demand. Farmers respond to food companies’ buying practices. We have the power to spark change in the entire chain.

Get closer to food. Grow something. Anything. Plant some herbs in a window box or a tomato plant in a pot. It’s particularly important if you have kids. We all need a reminder that food begins with a plant that turns sunlight into energy. I don’t have a scintilla of evidence to support this, only my own experience, but I’ve found that spending time with those plants makes the bright-colored boxes in the center aisles of the market seem less like food. Spend time with animals, and you end up giving more thought to the lives they lead. Raising (and killing) my own livestock has also forever cured me of wasting any part of an animal.

Cook. You’ve heard it so many times that I won’t elaborate.

[How to get people to cook more]

Many farmers need to make changes that will benefit the planet, and some will need help to make that happen. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Farmers are the interface between planet and people. No matter what the rest of us do, the environmental impact of farming is in the hands of the people who are actually doing it. It is a breathtaking responsibility, and the farmers I’ve talked to take it very seriously. Everyone agrees that reducing pollution, safeguarding soil and sequestering carbon are important, but no one knows how to do that on any particular farm, or particular field, better than the farmer. I’m sure not going to be the one to tell her what to do.

My list is, instead, a way to give farmers the help they might need to make changes. Create a market for crops and animals raised with attention to the rights of farmworkers, the welfare of animals and the impact on the planet. Make what benefits all of us benefit farmers, too, by creating a standard that allows them to charge a little bit more for products raised according to higher standards. And, on the flip side, stop creating incentives to grow a few commodity crops at as high a capacity as possible, with insufficient attention to environmental repercussions.

Farmers have to grow what people will buy, and the cost of improvements that benefit the environment have to be shared among us all.

Know Your Farm Sources

Know Your Farm Sources

Come to the table. Just about every food person I’ve talked to, from every perspective, wants a more inclusive, constructive conversation. Over and over, the people most engaged in our food system have told me some variation on what Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told me: “Food should be uniting.”

What has been most interesting and eye-opening to me in the two-plus years I’ve been writing Unearthed is spending time with people who disagree with me. It has made me acutely aware of my own biases (we all have them) and impatient with the tenor of the public conversation. So, to have a better conversation in 2016, consider spending more time with people you disagree with. Surely, if you’re a GMO proponent, you know an opponent you could have lunch with. Organic advocate? Spend time with a conventional farmer. Expand your social media circle to include “them.” Mute anyone who routinely calls names or hurls insults.

If you’re part of the food industry, and a member of an organization that gathers people together to talk about food at conferences and events, invite some outsiders. When everyone in the room sees the world in the same way, progress is unlikely. It’s harder to believe people are greedy, or duplicitous or anti-science when you sit down together with a beer and discover you both like fishing, or Portugal or “Zoolander.”

Local Fresh non-GMO produce

Local Fresh non-GMO produce

That last one’s particularly important because it doesn’t cost anything to implement. It requires no particular expertise. It has no downside.

Which brings me to an important point about lists like this. Just as Gerald McGrew doesn’t have to worry about exactly how he’s going to get to Ka-Troo to capture his Proo, or how he’s going to feed it, or what kind of climate control it’s going to need, journalists playing “If I Ran the Zoo” don’t have to worry about what it’ll take to implement these changes, and they don’t have to live with the consequences.

I don’t run the zoo. And, although I’m not short on hubris, mine doesn’t extend to believing I can sit at my desk and give the people who do run the zoo a definitive guide to doing their jobs better. They are ideas, some of which have originated with people in a zoo-running capacity, and all of which have some mainstream buy-in. They are a starting point.

Here’s hoping that the new year brings us more constructive public debate, and progress on improving what and how we grow and eat.

Joel Salatin Explains Why This Ain’t Normal!

Joel Salatin Explains Why This Ain’t Normal!

Sponsored by Eden Organics

What Does Real Food Look Like?

Thanks to decades of clever mass marketing campaigns, the average person has become completely disconnected with how our food is grown and also what real food should look like. With the agro-chemical companies chiming away that “there is going to be a food shortage if we don’t produce more food and decrease the world population in order for everyone to survive,” the reality is most people do not have a clue as to how their food is produced, where it is grown or how it is grown.


Most people have no idea how their food is grown, much less who grows it!

The Disconnection Factor

Processed foods, initially created with the intention to save time, are simply not a healthy choice.  Some of these processed, ready to “heat and serve” products made with “real chicken” are breaded, seasoned and disguised in all sorts of geometrical shapes so that children will be encouraged to eat them. Meanwhile, the average child who primarily consumes this type of food has no idea what a chicken looks like, sounds like or the fact that chickens are smart, loving beings.

Chicken Nuggets

As Frank Purdue used to say, parts is parts, but are they safe to eat? (Photo:Ludovic Bertron)

People are so disconnected to food! Today, you can buy chicken that is boneless, skinless, know nothing about it other than that it is heat and serve.

When I asked Joel Salatin about the growing he said, “As a culture, we essentially abdicated our responsibilities and kind of by faith we gave over this food responsibility to others over several couple of decades to where we are at the point now in our country where we have twice as many people incarcerated in prison as we have growing our food, which is again, a very aberrant civilizational statistic. It’s the first time it’s ever been done.

We are absolutely a guinea pig culture, flirting with abnormalities on a scale that no civilization has ever even thought of and the fact is you cannot have an integrity food system when you have the level of disengagement and lack of participation that we have in the culture.”

Listen To The Interview:

It takes a true organic farmer to really get the point across about the benefits of growing organics and eating organics. Joel Salatin is an organic farmer from Virginia who talks about the problems he sees not only as an organic farmer but as a consumer of organic foods. In his best-selling book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World, he takes us into his world as he talks about how our food is produced and why we ought to take a closer look at where and how our food is produced.

Click on the video below to listen to this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, as host, June Stoyer is joined by special guest Joel SalatinClick this link to use our free podcast player to hear the interview!

Food Labeling & Food Integrity: What Happened?

Food labeling is very controversial for many reasons. While some people think it is the big corporations out to get us, the reality is, the laws are designed to benefit the large scale producers. How should consumers view labels and what should consumers do beyond labels?

During the Great Depression, a flood of inferior food products threatened the integrity of the food supply. The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act set legal standards for most staple foods. In the year 2013, anywhere in the United States, it is still not mandatory to label products containing GMO’s on the label. Who are these laws protecting now? Have the laws intended to initially protect consumers changed to protect manufacturers?

food mislabeled

Salad Bouquet a weakened vinegar labeled “for use like vinegar”; Peanut Spred had few peanuts and much lard; and Bred-Spread had no strawberries, just pectin, dye, flavoring and hayseeds to simulate strawberry seeds.

Joel Salatin continued the conversation by saying,”the whole labeling issue is monstrous. We’ve never claimed anything. We just say eggs, T-bone steak, ground beef, pork chops. We don’t claim anything. Now we have to put these nutritional labels on. Which of course would cost several hundreds of dollars per item. So we can’t afford, as a small farm, nutritional labels that are accurate to what we produce but the USDA says, that’s not a problem, you can use the generic label. So, we slap the generic label on, which is in many cases 300-even 500% off of our Riboflavin or folic acid or omega 3, omega 6 ratios.

labels for food

Do food labels really benefit consumers? When is a salad more than a salad?

Our label on our food that we have to put on by law, is as wrong as night and day, doesn’t bear any semblance to the food that we produce but the labeling laws, in order to customize them so that they are actually accurate to our food would cost us thousands of dollars, which we don’t have and so the whole thing is just a joke.

They (industry) are making it so that it is impossible to own and operate a small farm or what the big picture is, they are looking to wipe you (small farmers) out. This is business. This is the cost of operations. This is what is being forced upon a small business owner who owns and operates a farm.  Period.

Generally speaking… food laws, whether they are food safety laws, whether they are labeling laws, whether they are infrastructure laws, whatever the regulations. The zoning, whatever they are, they are always prejudicial toward the biggest players and against the small players. The regulations are not scalable. They are scalable up very very well but they don’t scale down. What happens is every time we have a revamping of food safety laws, of the regulatory structure you always see the small players get inordinate punches on the chin, because the regulations are not scalable. That’s what people need to understand. That’s one ready why I advocate food choice. I think it is an amazing thing in our country now that we collectively believe that it is perfectly safe to feed your kids twinkles, Cocoa puffs, and Mountain Dew but if you feed raw milk, or compost grown tomatoes or Aunt Matilda’s homemade pickles, those are hazardous substances. The health and sickness statistics certainly don’t bear that out and yet that’s where we’ve come to.”

Responsibility For Your Food = Responsibility For Your Health

You write about how people need to take responsibility. How can we reconnect ourselves and our families?

Joel Salatin Photo Credit Teresa Salatin

Joel Salatin Photo Credit Teresa Salatin

Joel Salatin replied, “you cannot have people taking responsibility for the visceral parts of their lives without putting attention on that in the home. Homes used to be the centerpiece of everything that was important in life. Now home has become simply a pit stop between everything that’s important in life that happens outside. This is part of this crisis of participation that we don’t even participate in our family lives or our home lives anymore. All of our participation is outside.

Eating together as a family, cooking together. In the book, I talk about all of the learning possibilities (a kitchen can almost become a chemistry lab). It can become a learning center. Then beyond that, take them out to a farm. People don’t bat an eye at Bambi and Thumper, Disney vacations, or Caribbean cruises or summer camps and that entails a lot of money and a lot of time. Take the year off from that, take that budget of time and money that you would have normally spent recreationally like that and go find your farm treasures, your food treasures in your community.

What will happen then is that you will gradually build an informed platform from which you can make proper decisions. You will begin to learn (that’s good farming, that’s bad farming.) You will be able to smell (that’s good food, that’s bad food) You will be able to see (that’s good food, that’s bad food). As you develop that experiential immersion in food from farm all the way to table, obviously, with kids, more is caught than taught. If we see that something is important, kids usually think it is important too. Once they start tasting it and seeing the difference…then, they are ready for it.

It does make a significant difference impact and effects how they not only live their lives but also their food choices. If they (kids)have the respect for the land and if they have the respect for nature, that is going to really make a significant impact in their overall disposition throughout the rest of their lives.”

Crisis Of Participation

The children really are our future. Whether you are a parent, a responsible adult or just someone who wants to make a positive change, we have to set the example for the younger generations.

“Once you are taught the knowledge, especially children that possess that knowledge they take that with them for the rest of their lives. It does make a significant impact and affects how they not only live their lives but also their food choices and how they carry themselves throughout their lives.

If they have the respect for the land and if they have the respect for nature, that is going to really make a significant impact in their overall disposition throughout the rest of their lives,” said Joel Salatin.

Crisis Motivation

When people do pay attention it is usually when they have a either a personal health crisis or someone that they love has a health crisis. That is when the light bulb goes off and then they start paying attention to not only where is the food grown, how is the food is grown, but who is growing it and what methods are they using to grow it.

According to Joel Salatin, “a healthy 50% of the visitors that come to our farm or take our seminars are conservative homeschoolers who opted out of the institutional education system, found it soul satisfying and said, well, good grief! What else am I missing? The whole idea to opt out of the mainstream thinking whether it’s investment, education, recreation, food, medical. What happens is there is one drip. Maybe, for some people it is that they bite the bullet and went to a chiropractor instead of, for example, a medical doctor. Then maybe the next thing you know they are going to a homeopath. Boy, what happens is when a person opts out of the conventional thinking and finds it beneficial, well, then they are screaming to find other things.

Positive changes that you can really taste and get a hold of are magnetic. They attract you to take the next step.”

Real Food Rots

Have you ever wondered about what preservatives do to our food? Anything that has a shelf life for several years is not as nature intended it to be.

Real food rots!

Real food rots!

Joel Salatin explained, “when food gets processed,when you take the ingredients in DiGiornio’s frozen pizza for example, frozen microwavable pizza, that pizza becomes a totally different critter than the raw ingredients that went into it. That’s true for practically everything from chicken nuggets to whatever to cheerios. I remember reading well decades ago reading about Wheaties and that you could take wheaties and feed rats and the would die but if you took the raw ingredients that were listed on the label and feed rats, they were perfectly healthy.

Living food spoils precisely because it IS alive! The fact is, there are a lot of things that are done to food. Take for example, Velveeta cheese. Cheese that squirts out of a tube? Folks, this ain’t normal! Good food should rot! If you take Velveeta cheese and set it on your table and then get some real cheese from somebody, in 24 hours, the real cheese will have a little mold on it. I don’t know how long Velveeta will sit there with no mold but it’s years!”


Photo: Wikipedia

Velveeta Ingredients: Milk, water, milkfat, whey, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, contains less than 2% of salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color), cheese culture.

Want to read the book? Click the image below to order a copy of Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World! 

Folks, This Ain't Normal book

How to Sprout Grains for Sourdough Bread

How to Sprout Grains (and make sprouted grain sourdough bread)

by Jenny at www.instructables.com

Sprouted Grain Flour

Sprouted grain flour is a staple in my kitchen.  I make it from time to time, in bulk, and freeze it for use in sweet things like these sprouted grain cookies, or in this sprouted bread with milk and honey.  Sprouting sweetens grains naturally, and the process also helps to mitigate the effects of antinutrients like phytic acid which are found in whole grains.  It release a bit of the plant, one that’s imprisoned in the grain’s tough layer of bran.  When the conditions are right – moist and slightly acidic – the little plant begins to emerge, if only slightly.  It’s a beautiful transformation, the release of life from something so small and so seemingly inactive.

Why Sprouted Grain Flour

All whole grains (and beans, seeds and nuts) promise an array of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber which is why health authorities (rightly, or wrongly, you might think) emphasize them as a source of good health.  And, despite all the emphasis on whole-grain this and whole-grain that, what they fail to emphasize is that these whole grains are also a source of antinutrients -substances that actually prevent you from fully absorbing the nutrients whole grains contain.  Listen closely now: you might eat as many whole grains as you like, but without proper preparation to mitigate the effect of these antinutrients, you are not reaping the rewards you should.

Grains want tender, long and thoughtful cooking.  This means grains need to be treated first to release their full array of nutrients to your body.  Soaking, sprouting and souring accomplish that goal which is also why I emphasize sourdough baking at Nourished Kitchen.  Now, sprouting won’t remove all of the antinutrients in the grain – but it has some effect.  To remove them all, you need to mill the grains and extract all the bran, but sprouting does accomplish quite a bit not only to release the existing minerals from the grain, but to improve its complement of vitamins and protein.

Which grains can I sprout?

You can sprout any grain, provided you’re working from the whole grain berry, not a rolled, flaked or otherwise damaged grain.  Wheat, spelt, oats, barley and einkorn all work well for sprouting.  Oats are a high-fat grain, and are often treated with steam or heat and dried prior to packing and distribution, so if you wish to sprout oats, take care to purchase untreated oat groats intended specifically for sprouting.

Where to Find Grains for Sprouting

In most cases you’ll be able to purchase whole grain berries at your local health food store in the bulk bins.  Common grains like spelt, wheat and rye are available at even the smallest stores; however, untreated oats for sprouting and einkorn berries are less commonly available.  For my family, I purchase both einkorn berries and sprouting oats online.

  • Common Grains (Spelt, Rye, Wheat, Rice): Check your local health food store’s bulk bins, or inquire at your buying club.
  • Einkorn Berries: Are not widely available yet; however, you can purchase them online at affordable rates on often receive free shipping (see sources).
  • Untreated Sprouting Oats: Are not widely available yet, as most oats on the market have been heat-treated due to the volatile nature of their oils.  I purchase organic sprouting oats online here.

Sprouting Grains for Flour

When sprouting grains to make sprouted grain flour, you must be mindful of the time it takes to sprout while not allowing your sprouts to grow too large.  Certainly, once that little speck of a root appears at the end of the grain, it’s tempting to let it continue growing.  Yet, by allowing the sprout to continue to grow, you run the risk of malting the grains.  Malt, in small amounts, adds great depth of flavor to baked goods; however, when used exclusively or in large amounts it will produce an overly sweet, gooey bread that never cooks through.  In using sprouted grains for flour, be mindful to begin dehydrating the grains shortly after the root tip appears.

Sprouted grains should also be dried at a relatively low temperature in a dehydrator; just as allowing the sprout to grow too long can fundamentally change the way the flour performs, so too can drying it at a high temperature.  An oven doesn’t work well as a substitute for a dehydrator in this instance.

Equipment You’ll Need for Making Sprouted Grain Flour

I live in a very small, modest home with a surprisingly tiny, equally modest kitchen – about 40 square feet.  I do not like to clutter what little space I enjoy with too many appliances and kitchen gadgets; however, there’s a few items I find to be absolute necessities for sprouted flour making.  Fortunately, they all serve multiple purposes.

  • The Insert of My Slowcooker: I soak my grains in the insert of my slowcooker, though any large mixing bowl will work well.  I use this slowcooker.
  • Fine-mesh Sieve: I use a fine-mesh sieve that fits over the sink for rinsing and aerating the grains as they sprout.  This is the sieve I use.  Fitting it over the sink saves much-needed counter space, and also allows the water to run cleanly through the grains, minimizing clean up.
  • Dehydrator: To prevent sprouted grains from roasting in the oven at too high a temperature, I dry them in a food dehydrator.  I have a 9-tray dehydrator that I also use to preserve the summer and autumn harvest, to help bread rise and to keep a constant temperature for yogurt making.  I also make sure to use Paraflexx sheets which keep the grains from slipping through the holes in the dehydrator’s trays.
  • Grain Grinder: When I first began grinding my own grains for flour, I used a Nutrimill; however, early this year it stopped working, and I purchased a Komo Grain Grinder and Grain Flaker which is blessedly quiet and doesn’t heat the flour during grinding.  There are many grain grinders, electric and manual, in a variety of price ranges.  You can check out this resource to determine which meets your needs the best.

Where to Find Sprouted Grain Flour

If you haven’t the interest or time to sprout your own grains for sprouted grain flour, you can also purchase sprouted grain flour online (you can find it here), as well as in some large health food stores.  For many people who have neither the time, space or desire to make their own sprouted grains and flours, purchasing organic sprouted flour is often the best option.

Sprouted Grain Flour
Sprouted Grain Flour

Sprouted grain flour is rich in nutrients, particularly B vitamins like folate. You can substitute it at 1:1 ratio for any whole grain flour, and is particularly good in baked goods, cookies and breads.


  • 1 pound whole grain (such as rice, wheat berries, einkorn berries, spelt berries etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


  1. Pour the grains into a large mixing bowl, and cover with warm water by 2 inches. Stir in the vinegar, cover the bowl, and set it on the counter. Let the grains soak, undisturbed, for 18 to 24 hours, then drain the grains and rinse them well.
  2. Pour the grains into an over-the-sink fine-mesh sieve (like this one), and rinse them under flowing water. Stir the grains with your hands. Twice a day for 2 to 3 days, continue rinsing and stirring the grains, a tiny, cream-colored sprout emerges at the end of the grains.
  3. Transfer the grains to dehydrator trays lined with a non-stick sheets (find them here). Dehydrate the grains for 12 to 18 hours. Once the grains are firm and dry, transfer them to the freezer or grind them in a grain grinder (find them here). Grind them to a fine flour, sift it, as desired, and store it in the freezer until ready to use.