Why we mill our own flour
By By Joost Team On March 7, 2012
Respect for the ingredients and the way our food is grown is what the Greenhouse is all about.
Wheat that is packed full of vitamins, minerals and essential oils should only be stoneground on demand. Research has shown that flour loses it’s vitality within moments of being milled.
Pasta that you have at lunch at the Greenhouse was grain only hours earlier. The wholegrain donut or muffin that you have with your coffee was grain that morning. Bread is made 3 times a day from grain grown locally and bio-dynamically and has all the goodness that nature intended and keeps us healthy in ways we are yet to understand.
“Here’s the real charm of the place: biting into nutty pizza, just-baked bread or fresh pasta, knowing it has been made from flour milled that morning. Food made from scratch, by hand, on the spot, has an energy and goodness that you can practically taste.” Terry Durack
THE FACTS - WHY MILL YOUR OWN WHEAT?
The wheat from which most bread is made has proven to be one of nature’s most perfect foods, full of vitamins, minerals, and many trace elements.
The seed of wheat is made up of many parts consisting of three basic categories:
The bran, made up of many layers of vitamins, minerals, and rich proteins, forms the tough outer covering. This part of the wheat also provides valuable roughage which acts like a sponge to absorb and remove unwanted poisons and toxins from our digestive system.
The germ is the life-giving part of the seed. It’s packed with vitamins B and E, but once milled, it can only last 72 hours at room temperature before going rancid.
The endosperm, (or the white centre) is mostly starch with very few vitamins. This is the part of the wheat that most of todays store bought milled flour is made from.
For centuries wheat was milled into flour with large milling stones which crushed the seed grain into whole wheat flour. There were no supermarkets for selling flour, and so people made their flour as and when they needed it, ensuring minimal time difference between making flour and eating the results.
To ensure today’s milled white flour lasts long enough to sit in warehouses and on shop shelves for months on end, todays millers have had to remove all trace of the bran and the germ – losing at least 22 of the 26 known vitamins and minerals in the process, and all of the valuable roughage our bodies need to absorb and remove unwanted toxins and poisons within our digestive system.
You get whiter, fluffier bread, cakes or pastries but you get them at a price. Health problems such as Obesity, Diabetes, Hypoglycaemia, Heart Disease, Bowel Cancer and Tooth Decay are just some of the major diseases on the upswing since the introduction of white flour in the 1900′s. Many nutritionalists agree that white flour and other refined foods are largely responsible.
Millers have tried to counter the problem through “enrichment” or adding vitamins B1, B2, Niacin and Iron. But there are at least 26 known vitamins and minerals in the whole wheat kernel. How can you enrich something with 22 fewer qualities than you started with? And why strip the natural goodness from our food, then artificially restore a part of it back? Wouldn’t it be wiser to eat the wholesome natural food in the first place?
By making your own flour as and when you need it, your body absorbs all the goodness that nature packed into her wonderful seed grains. You get to enjoy all the delicate oils and vitamins that are so important to your health, but so easily lost or damaged in the commercial milling process.
The flour you’ll produce is very soft and smooth. You’ll feel the slight oiliness of the natural life-giving wheat germ. This type of flour will take on moisture fast, is easy for the body to digest and utilise, and (if you like the taste of fresh quality ingredients) will enrich the taste of everything you make from it.
For many years the health and flavour benefits of freshly milled flour has been lost to the western world in the name of convenience.
Joost came across some particularly interesting [and quite shocking] research by Dr. JG Schnitzer – a dentist and researcher, who published his studies in the early 1960′s. Dr Schnitzer was an avid campaigner for the health benefits of freshly milled grain.
See below the incredible comparative study of the effects of a whole-meal diet and a refined-flour diet..
Laboratory rat, fed with whole-meal bread. During 11.5 months of whole-meal bread nutrition the rat was completely healthy and free from vermins.
(From the book of Professor Dr. Friedrich Proell “Zahnaufbau und Zahnabbau in Abhängigkeit von der Ernährung” (Construction and decay of teeth in dependence of nutrition), Johann Ambrosius Barth Edition Leipzig, Germany, 1956).
Laboratory rat, fed with white bread rolls, 2nd generation. Heavily ill, with violent rash of ears, snout, tail and extremities (thick crusts), coat of hair rough; “ugly”, unharmonious proportions of head, body and extremities. To show details better, the rat is photographed a bit bigger than the healthy one.
(From the same book of Professor Dr. Friedrich Proell). You can see here, that type of bread of a population is not only having influence on teeth, but also on the complete body, the appearance, beauty or ugliness of proportions.