Can You Really Live Off Beans in a Survival Situation?

A classic survival item preppers like to stockpile are legumes (especially beans). Inexpensive, nourishing, and easy to store.

But are beans easy to cook? How about easy to digest?

“I’d rather be shot than live off beans,” says John C. A. Manley, a prepper I interviewed in last month’s Survival Joe Mastermind Club meeting.

“I love the taste of beans. They fill me up. But boy are most beans both hard to cook and even harder digest.”

If you’re stocking your pantry full of dried kidney beans, you may want to test them out first. As Manley pointed out in our interview, beans often require soaking overnight. And then you still need to slow cook them for three hours. That’s a lot of fuel to be using in a survival situation.

After all that work, only those with strong digestion will be sleeping soundly. The rest of us will be suffering gas and bloating.

Sure, after a while our guts might adjust to the musical fruit. But in a survival situation there is already enough to adjust to. Do you really want to be retraining your digestive juices?

You really need to edge into beans slowly. Start eating a bean dish once a week. Work up to once a day. Don’t wait until a collapse of society to start living off beans. Begin today.

Not only are beans super-healthy for your body (studies show they lead to a longer life), they’re also great for your wallet (80% cheaper than meat and dairy per gram of protein).

The Manley family have been eating beans and rice every day (more or less) for the last five years. But they don’t use black beans, garbanzo beans, or pinto beans.

“I stick to split mung beans,” says Manley. “Not only are mung beans the easiest bean to digest, they are one of the easiest foods to digest. Mung beans literally melt into a creamy soup. No tough skins. No chewing. Very similar to pea soup.”

Manley has had a weak digestive system since birth. If he eats most beans, he’s in a lot of pain. But he finds the mung bean, when peeled and split, very easy to digest.

Mung beans are also easy to cook. No soaking required. And they cook as quick as brown rice. In fact, you can cook the rice and beans in the same pot and get a complete source of protein.

So don’t be storing foods you have no experience cooking or digesting. The time to learn how to live in a sustainable way isn’t after the collapse of society; it’s before.

People like John C. A. Manley have been changing their habits so that if need arises they can continue living if the world falls apart. Manley buys organic split mung beans in 25 pounds bags each month. 15 pounds gets consumed. The other 10 pounds gets stored away. If a long-term collapse of the food system occurs… his family is going to just keep on doing what they are doing right now: Enjoying their rice and mung bean stew.

And by “enjoy,” I mean it. Manley has mastered the art of turning a “poor man’s dish” of rice and beans into quasi-gourmet food. When he starts sautéing the spices that go along with this humble survival soup — neighbors catch the scent and start knocking on the door to get a copy of the recipe.

“I largely learned how to make tasty rice and bean dishes from East Indians,” says John. “For thousands of years rice and legumes have been a staple in India. They know how to transform these simple foods into a mouth-watering delight.”

The end of the world is starting to smell pretty good.

To listen to a free sample or purchase the entire interview with John C. A. Manley, please click here.

Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
-Survival Joe