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Primitive Technology: Making poisonous Black bean safe to eat (Moreton Bay Chestnut)

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Published on May 29, 2015

Cooking and leaching Black bean to remove the poison making it safe to eat. A basket was made to leach the poison out in a stream. Also shown are Atherton Oak nuts. The Aboriginal artifacts found near by were probably made by the Yidinji people (if you're reading this leave a comment below). It seems like a lot of effort to prepare black bean to eat but consider the effort that goes into making bread from scratch (plowing, sowing, winnowing, storing, milling, baking etc.). With Black bean it is collected when needed, storage is unnecessary as nothing eats it raw and it can be left in the stream till needed. It contains more energy than potatoes(but less than grain) and contains lots of starch and protein. This was a staple food of the rain forest people once.
IMPORTANT EDIT: Always do an edibility test before consuming new bush foods. I left the Moreton bay chestnuts to soak in the running stream for a week (because I was busy) but it only takes 3 days to leach out the poison making it safe to eat.
I estimate that 200 Moretonbay chestnut seeds alone would meet the energy requirements of an adult for 3 days. If you prepared this food on a continuous 3 day cycle it would be as follows: Collect fire wood, get the grated meal soaking in the stream from 3 days earlier, bake it into bread, collect 200 new seeds, bake them in a pit till soft, grate or slice them finely into the basket and put it back into the stream for 3 days. The bread made from this easily stores for 3 days. So you spend one day (probably only the morning) making the food and the other 2 days free for other activities.

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