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fyvon's avatar

What are the healthiest, low maintenance foods that are widely available?

Asked by fyvon (44points) June 30th, 2016

I mean they don’t go bad so fast, they can grow almost anywhere, you don’t need much to make them edible or more edible, they’re affordable to most etc.?

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17 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Bananas, beans, oatmeal and milk. Potatoes are cheap too.

Coloma's avatar

Chickens/ eggs. For the cost of a shelter and a little feed you can keep a few hens and get eggs daily except during the darkest part of winter and when they molt once a year. We have 22 hens here and have eggs coming out of our ears. You can freeze egg yolks, hard boil them, make quiches and freeze them, use them for all sorts of baking.

Keeping a few hens gives back a quality food source in spades.

fyvon's avatar

I just happen to come into the thread to add something, and there is your answers. My Activity For You is not working

Cruiser's avatar

Broccoli, apples and potatoes seem to last forever and fit the easy to grow part of your question.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Canned legumes. They don’t spoil, and they’re already cooked. You just pour the beans into a sieve and rinse them under cold, running water. You can heat the beans and eat them with rice or toast, or you can add them, unheated, to a salad. Legumes are extremely economical, versatile, and healthful.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Potatoes, dry beans and rice, honey, salt.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The healthiest thing you can do is get control of the food you eat. The first thing to do is to learn how to cook, if you already don’t know how. Then, the cheapest, most effective, most interesting and most rewarding way to take control of your food is to have garden. And get a couple of chickens. Like @Coloma above, I’m huge on chickens.

The garden, a small nursery/greenhouse, the chickens, their run and henhouse, the root cellar and the compost box can all be fitted in the back yard of an average-size house occupying less than a quarter acre lot. With a little effort and good design, the garden and all the peripherals can be quite pretty, well organized and easy to run and maintain.

If you are in a cold climate, build a small greenhouse or “green tunnel”. The plans are free on the net as are climate control devices made from stuff purchased at second hand store like Goodwill, rummage and yard sales.

Everything you need to know about raising your own nutritious, organic garden in any climate is on the net for free from Universities and Extension services.

I started with a simple herb garden and ended up with a nearly complete symbiotic ecosystem. Chickens (or rabbits) are an integral part of this system. The system requires water and compost for enriching the soil. The chickens play a large part in enriching the soil. The earthworms do as well, and are a protein source for the chickens. Here’s what one chicken can do for you:

Here’s what ONE average adult chicken can do:

1) Produce an average of 5 eggs per week for about 48 weeks per year. Production drops a bit during the mid winter, darker months if you are in those latitudes.

2) Convert ten pounds of table scraps into eggs and enough fertilizer for 50 sq. ft. of garden in one month.

3) Debug 120 sq. ft. of garden in one month in daily 30 minute supervised visits.This is one of the most effective non-toxic forms of insect control. And it’s passive. All you have to do is sit on your butt just before dusk and watch your chickens graze—and maybe use a squirt gun every once in awhile when the hens get too rough with the plants. That usually means they are finished, that the bugs are getting scarce and the hungry hens are going to go to work on the veggies. Time to gently herd them into the chicken house for the night.

4) One chicken can break the life cycle of pests in one fruit tree in one hour.

5) Level a pile of mulch in 2 days.

6) Till 50 sq. ft. of sod in 4 – 6 weeks.

7) Produce enough manure in a month to make one cubic yard of compost of leaves.

8) Make more chickens—well that would take two, of course, one being a rooster. The rooster is necessary to produce fertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs were fashionable a few years ago because they were said to have more nutritional value which meant that one could increase the sales price of their eggs simply by having a rooster. I’m not sure what the deal is now, or if people will pay more for fertilized eggs.

I have a rooster, but I don’t recommend them for everybody. He will get you up at the crack of dawn (just ask @Coloma) every single day of the year, which is useful to me, but freaks other people out. This could also anger your neighbors. A lot of people don’t know this, but roosters are not necessary for egg production, just chicken production. But there ae sje good thing about roosters: He is programmed to protect his hens. Very proprietary sons of bitches, roosters. Mine will even charge me once in awhile. And they are very effective against snakes, small rodents and other invaders of the henhouse. They are also serve as a good alarm system.

9) You will notice after awhile that each chicken has a personality and will actually interact with you, even come to you when you call them by name. They can make rewarding pets besides work partners and egg producers. But this level of intimacy can interfere with some peoples’ ability to harvest their meat—one of the main ways a chicken pays for itself. This has been known to make vegetarians out of devout omnivores.

Could you imagine what only four chickens would do for you and your garden?

Yup. Chickens and a garden for healthy, sustainable, greener living with incredibly low food costs in exchange for a little time and labor, initially anyway. Once everything is up and running and nature, the earthworms and the chickens are doing their jobs, it freakin’ cake, man. Check out “sustainable living” and “permaculture.” This isn’t about survivalism, although some of those techniques are certainly useful. This is about enhancement of suburban and urban living—and converting into discretionary capital money that normally would go into your food budget.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Excellent sharings! Yes, I didn’t go into all the other beneficial chickeny things, but you slammed it bud!
Chicken tip for you. If your hens get mites, ( you can see them under their wings or around their vents, little red or black specks moving around ) you can make a chicken dip with a couple tablespoon fulls of Hexol in a couple gallons of water, dunk ‘em up to their necks, hold them in the solution for a minute or two then let ‘em go.

You can also use Sevin Dust as an effective parasite killer and dust their nest boxes and coop too. :-)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Oh, I forgot to mention that the garden, root cellar and canning solve the problem of availability and low maintenance. The amount of time it takes to do these things come in seasonal spurts and are otherwise things one can do in a half-hour or so before and after work. The worms and the chickens do most the the work. Watering the garden, watering and feeding the chickens and even releasing them into the partially shaded chicken run every morning are easily automated or by using passive tech as to waterers and feeders. I’m sure @Luckyguy would have a blast designing these things. I did.

@Coloma Thanks. I use Sevin, but didn’t know about the Hexol dip. Thank you again. Say Hi to old Lord Marwynn of Quackshire, the Duke of Duckdale, Earl of Eider und Graf von Goosedown.

janbb's avatar

Blueberries when they are in season. Almost any produce that is local and in season.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Sounds like you’re more interested in food production than personal consumption. Cassava can be grown virtually everywhere, even if the soil is poor, and even with less watering. The product of cassava can last a long time in any dried form, and can be processed in to different kind of meal depending on preparation. Sago can also be a good choice but its versatility to grow is a little below cassava. These are the typical food for people in poor countries due to their easiness to produce in mass quantity.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Yes. An excellent sustained release carbohydrate on a par with potatoes and rice. And there are a million ways to prepare it.

fyvon's avatar

@Unofficial_Member If you’re addressing me “Sounds like you’re more interested in food production than personal consumption.” No it’s for personal consumption.

Coloma's avatar

Grapes are pretty diverse as well. You can make wine, dry them into raisins or pick them as table grapes.

SmartAZ's avatar

The body needs about forty nutrients. I say “about” because more have been identified since I studied the subject. No food has all of them, so it’s hard to say that one food is “healthier” than another. You need a mix. Eight of those necessary nutrients are proteins, and the body has to have a mix in correct proportions. That mix is called “complete protein” and if the mix is not just right the body will process them as ordinary but expensive calories. For most purposes you only count meat, milk, and eggs as complete protein. Other foods can combine to make complete protein, but it’s a lot of homework to plan a diet that way. We are tempted to declare “the incredible edible egg” to be the healthiest food available, but you also need fiber and vitamin C and some other things that eggs don’t have. So the bottom line is study some books about nutrition and eat a varied diet.

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