“In 1860, steel roller mills began producing finely ground white flour, and would forever change the way we eat.”
There is a bakery in France that makes pastries you would die for. Light as air, paper-thin, delicate folds layered in buttery flavor. People come from all over Europe to experience this divine food. “How does he get his pastries so light and fluffy?” they ask.
Naturally milled wheat would be uncooperative in the hands of the famous bakers of France, producing heavy, gritty flour. It is the finely ground white inner farina that is the opiate of connoisseurs, ground to a fine talcum texture, and for a whiter-than-white appearance, bleached with chlorine. To satisfy those whining health nuts, the flour is then enriched with cheap synthetic vitamins and minerals. The finished product is a high quality flour, useable in the finest bakeries of the world, producing a texture that their customers have come to expect.
Just down the street from the bakery there is a hospital. Inside, a man in his early fifties is having his colon cut open. The surgeon removes fifteen pounds of black, encrusted pastries and mucus that have impacted on the colon wall. After having removing the mass, the surgeon discovers small, cancerous tumors spread over a third of the length of his colon. This section also will be removed and the remaining colon stitched into place. The man will live but never be the same. Each pastry demanded a price, whittling away health until finally the only solution was a sharp scalpel and a pair of surgical scissors.
All through history, grain has been a symbol of provision. Look at a grain of wheat, a little treasure of essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and carbohydrates. These fragile elements are kept fresh in a natural, airtight container. Life sleeps within the seed.
Wheat was a common part of people’s lives during the times of Christ. Milling involved two Israelite women sitting on the dusty ground with a small mill between them. The mill was a simple construction of two circular stones, one atop the other. The top stone would have a hole into which the grain would be poured. The women would turn the stone, grinding fresh flour for the evening meal. In time, leaven would be used in the baking, but was often left out, producing a heavy unleavened bread which is still baked in the Middle East today. Barley and spelt were often added to the flour. This hearty bread was an important daily mainstay, providing sustained energy for hard work.
When Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), He spoke directly to their daily need, a portrayal they would clearly understand: “I am an eternal harvest of spiritual strength and provision.”
Crackers, Shake and Bake, hot dog buns, pretzels, donuts, bran flakes, pop tarts, muffins, cinnamon buns, pies, macaroni, spaghetti, stuffing, croutons, pizza, puffed wheat, cakes, corn chips, scones, bagels, burritos, pita bread, tacos, pancakes, granola, biscuits, corn starch, and the list goes on: welcome to the world of refined grains.
In 1860, steel roller mills began producing finely ground white flour, and would forever change the way we eat. We now had fluffy bread that didn't go rancid and was free from insect infestation because nothing could live in it. Unfortunately, processing removed up to 80% of the essential minerals and almost all of the fiber. The public soon developed an insatiable appetite for this new food. A century later, we are still eating white flour, despite its proven nutritional uselessness. White bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, pastries, donuts, muffins, pancakes and buns are a major part of today's diet. This blood sugar injection has become our modern-day drug.
The impact that white flour has had on the North American diet is nothing short of massive. A walk through your grocery store will announce in technicolor, walls of products made from processed wheat. The average American diet consists of 150 pounds of grain products per year, making them a large percentage of our diet.
Whole Grain Bread
Whole wheat bread is growing in popularity. When people first decided to eat more nutritiously, many changed from white bread to whole wheat with its “healthy” brown color. They felt good about making a positive move toward health, led to believe that “100% whole wheat” is exactly what it says, flour produced from the complete kernel of wheat, nothing added, nothing taken away. Unfortunately, this is not true.
Few people realize that government regulations stipulate that up to 40% of the bran and all of the wheat germ can be removed and the flour can still be labeled “whole wheat.” Only stone-ground whole wheat is made from the entire kernel. The finer the flour, the better for the soft, spongy bread that the consumer has grown to love and demand. In many cases, extra gluten is added with other preservatives and additives to enhance the texture and preserve the bread’s appearance of freshness. Color is even added to give the bread that whole wheat look.
Bran is of benefit, but a far cry from true stone-ground floor, which involves the entire grain. Talcum powder does not work well with the colon. When wheat is ground to such a fine texture, particles are round and adhere to one another, producing a sticky goo which coats the side of the colon wall, creating irritation and possible colon cancer.
Canadians have the highest rate of colon cancer in the world. We consume 120 pounds of empty white flour per year, and well over 100 pounds of refined sugar. That makes two hundred and twenty pounds of nutritionally useless stomach filler.
Stone-ground breads are best, with all the fiber intact, ground naturally by large mill stones producing heavier, sharp edged, colon-friendly flour. When we eat stone-ground wheat, the particles help sweep the colon wall much like the hearty ancient breads.
Related Article: How To Choose Healthy Bread