Posts Tagged ‘mong beans’

The food in this camp was about like what we had in every camp, but I had gained back some of my strength and my weight was up to 110 pounds now. The men on the saw mill detail had a better chance of getting extra food. Our chief source of food was taking it from the nose bags of the horses that were working at the saw mill. The mixture they fed was ground cane stalks and some soy or mong beans. We thought that this was pretty good food, and we took every advantage that we could of it. This did not last very long, however, as I was caught taking the food out of the bag and got slapped around for it.


One day we were going to the warehouse, we saw some Japanese longshoremen unloading a barge of fish meal in twenty kellos boxes. I told Sweatman that I was going to get a box of fish meal, so I managed to steal one and stashed it in the warehouse. It took us four days to smuggle it into camp, however. The Japs used it for fertilizer, but I knew there were lots of vitamins and other food values in it regardless of what it was used for. Fish meal was a pretty good trading item in camp, and it didn’t taste too bad over our grain.

When I say grain, that is what I mean. Rice was so scarce in our diet that when we had a bowl or a ration of it in camp, we always made the distinction by calling it white rice. Most of our diet consisted of rolled barley and a grain that they called korea. It is a grain that looks like maize. Sometimes we had soybeans soaked in with the grain, and then there were times when we had mong beans, which tasted like half-cooked black eyed peas.