Gregory Sams
Gregory Sams
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He saved a lot of cows, before turning to words
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The Vegeburger Story


An article on grain from Harmony Magazine (1968).
How did grains originate? Many people who have not actually looked into this question have the belief that grains are just the first plant that man managed to cultivate and that somehow he got it together from some wild grasses. The Encyclopedia Britannica however begrudgingly acknowledges the fact that modern biologists are still ignorant of the origin of grain. They are proud enough to equate this ignorance with the "ignorance" of the Greeks who believed grains to be the divine gift of the Goddess Demeter. It is strange that the American Indians also honored a god who brought them maize. When the Incas of Peru and Bolivia were given grains they were able to form an incredible civilization with magnificent highways, beautiful materials, a very advanced system of mathematics, and a superior calendar to the one being used in Europe. The maize of the Indians has been called "the grain that built a hemisphere." Some four and a half thousand years the Chinese performed religious ceremonies every year when the Emperor planted the first crop of rice. Every grain based civilization in history has religious records of the gods coming to earth and bringing with them cereal crops that man might live in peace and happiness. Christ Himself has said that man should eat his grain and went as far as to give instructions on how one should best prepare wheat.

Wheat was the staple grain of the English and, prepared as a rough unleavened bread or cooked whole with a few dried fruit (frumenty), it formed the basis of the English diet for many centuries. It was sometimes eaten (probably in the winter) with cheese (yang) and as the summer vegetables were rather yang (carrots, watercress, burdock), the English became a very yang people and began to manifest this excess yang by a yin expansion around much of the world.

Sometime towards the end of the nineteenth century a method was developed whereby the course brown outer part of flour could easily be removed and white bread was finally made available to the masses. Due to the difficulty of milling white flour, white bread had previously been available only to the anemic aristocracy. At about that time a method was also discovered for refining sugar. A smart young American named Heinz came to England with a suitcase full of soup and eventually, with the growth of refined and adulterated foods in the modern diet, the English people became more and more yin, taking refuge in the rigid repressiveness of the Victorian era. Grain is no longer a relevant part of the English diet. At last even Swaziland is gaining its independence from the British Empire.

Grains are the most staple and balanced foods on this earth. They give man the power of shaping his own mind and of living in harmony with his fellow man, fully in control of such emotions as fear, anger, envy, and pride. He who is ruled by these emotions is not fully healthy, as, though his body may appear fit, he has yet to put his mind in order. When one has depended upon grains for a period of time it is possible to eat and blend them in such a way that the imbalance seemingly inherent in one can be effectively counteracted.

If one seems to suffer from egotism or is too hasty and easily angered by others then it would be good to concentrate for a while on the quieter, more peaceful grains such as rice, corn, or oats. If one easily becomes jealous and envious, or is slightly introverted then one should yangize a bit with grains such as buckwheat, millet, and wheat made into unleavened bread. This is the best way to balance oneself. It is very easy if one is feeling cold to get some quick relief by eating some meat but a reliance on yang such as this can ultimately and only end in one's becoming more yin, and wanting more and more yang, just as a junkie finds himself wanting more and more heroin to satisfy his need.

There have been a few cases in modern history when man was literally forced to rely on grains for his sustenance. During the Second World War, when the crops of the Russian peasants had to be razed there was nothing left to eat save the millet that had previously been used only for feeding the poultry. They decided to try eating it themselves and for many months subsisted on this simple food. One of them rid himself of a stomach ulcer which had been bothering him for years. The people as a whole survived well and, as a token of their appreciation, millet now forms a large part of their diet. It is mentioned as one of the five holy nourishments in the ancient Chinese book on medicine, the Nei Ching.

Also during the Second World War the Danish people where blockaded and faced with imminent starvation. A very aware nutritionists was placed in charge of overcoming the threat of famine. He ordered that almost all the livestock be slaughtered and that grains be planted in their steed. White bread was made illegal. It was found that the nourishment given by grain crops was twenty times that afforded by beef or pigs feeding on the same land. By the end of the war the Danish were selling surplus food to the neighbors and the death rate per thousand in that period was the lowest on recorded history.

The very nature of grain is that of beginning. As a seed, each single grain is capable of producing thousands more grains. From this simple realization comes the statement: One Grain - Ten Thousand Grains. When you eat of grains you eat the very origins of life itself. Cereals are a gift to mankind that need only be accepted with gratitude. Eat grains with thanks and you will be reborn every second of every minute of every day.

Greg Sams.
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