The History of White Flour
Before 1870 there was only stone ground wheat. By 1880 all stones had
been replaced with iron, steel, or porcelain rollers throughout Europe
and America. It marked the beginning of the industrial revolution of our
food. Refined flour was the first fast food so to speak.
Before the industrialized roller-milling revolution, the ground white
flour could only get just so white. You see grinding removed the bran
from the wheat berry and therefore most of the fiber, but it didn't
remove the germ, which contains oils that are rich in nutrients. The
stone mills simply crushed the germ and released the oil. This tinted the
flour a rather unappealing yellow grey (the yellow is carotene) which
shortened the shelf life once it was exposed to the air. The flour soon
oxidized and turned rancid. It didn't look or smell very nice after that
and people didn't like it. However what they didn't realize was that the
oil was where all the nutrients were, such as protein, folic acid, B
vitamins, carotenes and other antioxidants, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
It was probably the omega-3 that caused it to go rancid.
With roller milling came the ability to remove the wheat germ as well as
the fiber, leaving behind a big packet of nothing but starch and a little
protein. This starch hitting our bodies all at once causes our bodies to
have a sugar rush. Now the pancreas has to kick into double time to keep
up with this over load. Soon the pancreas gets worn out and you have
diabetes. You also have an overweight population. But the good news for
the population back then was that now everyone could afford white flour
that would last on the shelves for many months. Before this only the rich
could afford white flour.
Now not every little town had to have a water wheel in order to provide
almost daily flour for everyone. Now since white flour could last months
it could be ground far away and shipped. Now towns did not have to be by
a stream or river. Now they could build a town anywhere. So America began
to spread out.
The problem with this new white flour was that it was nutritionally
worthless, or just about. As well as the wheat, the corn and rice flours
suffered from the same fate. Wherever these refined flours appeared so
did epidemics of pellagra and beriberi. Both of the diseases are caused
by deficiencies in B vitamins, which were in the germ.
In the 1930s vitamins were discovered and scientists soon figured out why
everyone was sick. So the government made it a law that B vitamins had to
be added to the white flour. In 1995 the public health authorities
ordered folic acid be added to the white flour as well. We are plagued
with deficiency diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain
cancers. We also know that eating whole grains reduces the risk of these
diseases. The choice is yours, but I feel that this nation needs to get
back to eating real food.
We need to eat whole grains that are ground fresh just before they are
used. The way to do that is with a wheat grinder. When you grind grain
fresh it has a wonderful smell. You can smell the nutrients in it. Go
smell your white flour. Go ahead go smell it! What did you smell? Nothing
right? That's because the nutrients are gone and the flour is dead. When
you grind your own wheat it is still warm when you make your baked goods.
If you put it in bread the warmth of the flour activates the yeast and
your bread will rise better and faster. Don't eat dead white flour your
body deserves better than that. Only in America do we take real nutrients
out of something and then replace it with artificial nutrients. Remember
added chemicals can never replace what God put in, in the first place.
She has 42 years experience grinding her own flour and making her own
bread. Just in the last two years she had found out she is allergic to
all grains but rice. She now has turned all her attention to making good
and healthy gluten free treats. She was shocked at how much they wanted
to charge for anything gluten free. She bought a new wheat grinder and
started grinding her own flours. You can make your own bread too even if
you don't know how to make bread or don't think you have the time. Buy a
bread maker. The kind where you put in all the ingredients, set the timer
and eat the hot bread. Gini wants to help you eat healthy.
We are the best source of affordable, yet well made grain mills on the
market. Come check us out.