Using Healthy Flour – in a Flour-free World

I eat flour.

I am happy that I don’t have gluten issues.  I could eat any flour, but that would be scary and unhealthy so I am picky about the flour I eat.

I like to grind my wheat fresh.

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This provides the freshest, most nutritious flour for baking….  It is crazy good for you.  It contains dozens of vitamins and minerals.  It is a nearly complete and perfect food for meeting our dietary needs.  Fresh ground wheat berries are a miracle food.

To read all about why you should grind your own flour go here.  

For more on my wheat grinding escapades go here.

But sometimes I just want some flour.  I don’t want to get out the mill.  I don’t want to go to the basement.  I don’t want to grind up wheat berries.  I don’t want to clean flour off my kitchen counters.  I don’t want to put the mill away.  I just want a cup of flour.

I have probably overdone the research on flour.

I have read all about how farmers are spraying wheat fields with pesticides.  I know that scientists are now genetically modifying many of our crops.

What has really startled me about flour was what happens to the grain while it is being stored.

Grain can be stored for a long time.  There are rumors that grain was found in an ancient Egyptian tomb and was successfully sprouted.  I don’t know it that’s true, but I know that grain will keep a long time.

Not all the grain produced needs to be used, or ground into flour immediately. Once it is ground into flour, there is an expiration date. I understand that the farmers want to store grain, whole.    If the wheat berries are kept as whole kernels they can be stored for years and years and years.

While the grain is stored little critters like to partake of the bounty.   To keep the critters off the produce, some drastic measures are occurring.  You can read all about it here.

Here’s the overview of what is recommended to farmers to keep the critters out of the grain:

  1. Spray storage bin with insecticide before binning grain
  2. Apply a “protectant” (insecticide) on bulk grain before moving into the storage bin
  3. A surface “dressing” of more insecticides is applied to the grain at the top of the bin once it is full, to control surface infestations.
  4. If additional protection is needed fumigation can be used.  It is dangerous to humans and animals.  It involves applying a gas to the grain to kill all insects on and in the grain.

The grain is sprayed in the field, sprayed before storage, sprayed during storage,  gassed during storage, the storage bins are also sprayed before filling and this wheat probably contains dead critters & insects.  

Then it is ground, bleached, and put in cute bags that say “flour” and sold to us at the grocery store.  Who wants some pancakes?  Anyone?  Biscuits?  Cake?

I don’t,  not unless I can bake with this:

No additives, no preservatives, unbleached wheat flour.

This is flour does not compare, nutritionally speaking, to fresh ground flour.  Milling your own flour is by far the way to go.  This flour is a great alternative on those days when you don’t have the time or energy to fuss with the mill.  It is also a nice option if you are baking for a large crowd, for Christmas goodies, or for a potluck.

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When I’m baking for my family I usually get out the mill.  For an introduction to the electric grain mill & how to get started grinding flour go here.

When I am feeding 25 at a potluck I am probably going to grab the 50 pound bag.  Does that make me bad?  At least I’m not feeding them the pesticide marinated stuff from Kroger. LOL

At the bottom of the bag you can see that it is certified organic.  In the US and Canada, if a product is labeled USDA Organic it must be raised & stored without the use of harsh chemicals & yucky stuff.  Yea!   Grains that haven’t bathed in pesticides!

This USDA Certified Organic stamp also means it’s not GMO (genetically modified).  Of course, there is always the possibility of “cross-pollination” where grain from a genetically modified field pollinates with an organic field, but this is another topic entirely.

I do still occasionally eat packaged buns or baked goods (think Chick-fil-A –  YUM!) that are most likely made with the pesticide-soaked grains.  I don’t eat it often and I try to limit our exposure.

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I don’t mind paying more for organic wheat flour.  I want to avoid the chemicals when I can.   I like to save money, but this is one place where I break open the wallet and spend a little more.

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-Candi

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