Tag Archives: pellagra

Pellagra and How to Treat Corn to Prevent It.

 

pellagraRecently, I came across some people storing large amounts of corn without fully understanding the vitamin deficiencies that can result in pellagra.  They have some 55-gallon barrels in their storage and are planning on using corn as a main staple.  This was based on their understanding that it was commonly used in the South and by many of the Native Americans as a staple in their diet.  As a result, I have decided to reprint a post I put up several years ago on this subject.

Treating Corn to Prevent Pellagra

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned corn and pellagra.  Pellagra was a vitamin deficiency disease caused by a lack of niacin.  …

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Treating Corn to Prevent Pellagra

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned corn and pellagra.  Pellagra was a vitamin deficiency disease caused by a lack of niacin.  It became an epidemic in the south during the great depression.  It was a main staple eaten by many of the poor.

When corn was first introduced into non-Native American farming, it was generally welcomed with enthusiasm for its productivity.  However, a widespread problem of malnutrition soon arose wherever corn became the main staple.  This was a mystery since these types of malnutrition were not normally seen among the Native Americans to whom corn was the principal staple food.

It was eventually discovered that the Native Americans learned long ago to add alkali—in the form of wood ashes among North Americans and lime (calcium carbonate) among South and Central Americans—to corn meal.  …

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