Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wheat versus Pasta

An excellent question was raised "Why buy pasta when homemade whole wheat pasta can be made?  Is there a nutritional benefit to the whole grain noodles?"  The nutritional content on a box of lasagna noodles indicated 25% folate, 20% niacin, 15% riboflavin, 30% Thiamin, 10% iron and 7 grams of protein.  I feel this is good nutritional content - granted the pasta has been fortified and has non of the  fiber that would be found in the whole wheat.  I love home made noodles, I love home made whole wheat noodles but the practicality of the matter is that I don't make time to make my pasta.  It takes a little more effort than turning on the mixer to mix bread.  If one has a pasta maker, the process is faster to whip out beautiful spaghetti noodles, flat lasagna noodles, or linguini.

There is storage that is 1) emergency 2) short term - 3months or so 3) intermediate 1-2 years and 4) long term lasting 10-30 years.  I use all these products all the time - the long term storage items are whole kernel wheat, rice, corn, oatmeal, beans.  I store tons of these items in plastic buckets with oxygen packets.  I rotate them a bucket at a time.  The intermediate items I don't store as much - like pasta.   I watch for the sales and then stock up.  These items can also be used in multiple dishes.  I try not to store too many things that can only be used in one main meal - for instance taco shells.  Our family doesn't eat enough hard tacos to make it worth while to store more that  3 boxes of shells.  (That is a generous 3 month supply for us.)  I found they taste stale when I was forced to eat them during our three month adventure.  So wisdom is necessary when planning convenience into the menu.  The Goal is to have enough of the foods that your family normally uses on hand to last three months.

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