Friday, July 8, 2011

What Nephi, Mormon and Moroni Told Us – Part III

In the last post we discussed the five basic clues or statements made by the ancient prophets and writers of the Book of Mormon that would show us where this Land of Promise is actually located. The first three of these were answered in the previous posts under the title: “The All Important Winds and Currents.”

1. Where winds and currents would take a sailing ship in 600 B.C.
2. Find a land where the climate matched that of Jerusalem.
3. Find a land where “both” gold, silver and copper exist in a single ore, and was abundant in the area.

In the last post we covered the fourth of these five points.
4. Find a land where two unknown animals existed that were as “useful to man” as an elephant.

In this post, we will cover the last of these five points.

5. Find a land where two unknown grains grew.

The most useful, versatile, and nutritional grains that were unknown in the Eastern United States and, therefore, to Joseph Smith, in 1830, are those found in the Andean area of South America. These grains include the parent grains of Quinoa and Kiwicha.

Quinoa (kee-noo-ah) is a high altitude Andean grain extremely rich in protein, that was considered by the Incas to be the mother grain, but was harvested for thousands of years before the Inca. It played an important role in both the diet and ceremonies of the Andean peoples, like amaranth did for the Aztecs

The quinoa is a food plant, which was extensively cultivated in the Andean region by pre-Columbian cultures and was used in the diet of the settlers both of the inter-Andean valleys. which are very cold high areas, and of the high plateaus. After maize. it has occupied the most prominent place among Andean grains.

The nutritional value of the plant is considerable: the content and quality of its proteins are outstanding because of their essential amino acid composition (lysine, arginine, histidine and methionine); its biological value is comparable to casein and it is especially suitable for food mixtures with legumes and cereals. Of the Andean grains, C. quinoa is the most versatile from the point of view of culinary preparation: the whole grain, the uncooked or roasted flour, small leaves, meal and instant powder can be prepared in a number of ways. There are numerous recipes on about 100 preparations, including tamales, huancaína sauce, leaf salad, pickled quinoa ears, soups and casseroles, stews, torrejas, pastries, sweets and desserts and soft and fermented, hot and cold, beverages, as well as breads, biscuits and pancakes.

Kiwicha (kee-weech-ah), like Quinoa, is a Andean supergrain, and referred to by historians as Inca Wheat, has been around as long as Quinoa, pre-dating the Inca by more than a thousand years. This grain is one of the most nutritious foods grown and has more protein than the major cereals and a better balance of amino acids than any other plant. The grain can be used as a cereal without cooking, or it can be used in stews, soups, breads, meats, flour, etc.

Both of these supergrains are indigenous to the Andean area and have been grown there for some 4,000 years or more. Today, they are the best known of the so-called undiscovered grains of the world, and their existence in South America shows the most ancient grain production of such little-known superfoods.

(See the next post, “More Clues from the Book of Mormon,” for additional insights into how these ancient prophets and Mormon left us information to locate and understand the location of the Land of Promise)

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