Gluten Free? Paleo? Atkins Diet? Grain Brain? Trim Healthy Mama? Every other diet article, or more, has some new bit or recipe about why grains are bad for us and why we should avoid them in our diet. The amount of gluten free information in our current times is amazing, do we really have a celiac epidemic on our hands and is wheat really the broken staff?
We are sharing another bit from Father Muller's book called The Church and Farming which was written in 1952. We previously shared the chapter titled The Factors to Proper Nutrition. Today's chapter is about flour milling and bread, where he shows us that it is NOT the bread itself but rather the broken process. From the soil to the making of the bread it is the process that is causing ill health. While the gluten free movement is rather new, the history of bad wheat growing and bad bread making, sadly, is not.
Flour-Milling and Bread
The Church and Farming
By: Father Fahey + Imprimatur 1952
What happened to flour-milling in the period preceding 1890? The sad story is related in the chapter of Tomorrow's Food entitled The Broken Staff. "Seventy-five years ago," we read, "there was scarcely a substantial stream in the settled parts of America that did not turn the rumbling water wheels of one of more stone grist mills. The total number of these mills in 1884 was 27,509. Two years later 6,000 of these small mills in 1884 was 27,509. Two years later 6,000 of these small mills had stopped grinding and during the succeeding decade the local milling industry was nearly extinguished. Minneapolis took over the business, by virtue of the superior productivity of the steel roller mills that the Washburn and Pillsbury Companies had adopted a decade before. From the point of view of the millers of Hoffenberger mill had everything to recommend it. True, it turned out a flour from which the nutritionally precious germ, the mineral and vitamin-rich middlings, and the outer bran coating had been completely removed. but it was white and it had excellent keeping qualities, for the reason that being mostly starts it had little in it to attract insects Foot note inserted here:
Here it will not be out of place to quote a few phrases from the speech of Lord Addison in the English House of Lords, in the debate on the Wheat Content of Bread, 28th February, 1945. The noble Lord is reported in Hansard as saying: "If you take a bigger proportion of these valuable constituents out of the wheat, what remains is a greater portion of starch, and you may be able to sell what you take out- they are commonly called offals, but they are not offals in the colloquial sense of the term, at any rate in a very profitable way. This is a fact; we know that it is so... I remember calling attention to the fact that, by the modern methods, operating on this very white flour, it was possible to produce eight more quartern loaves per sack of flour than only one answer to that question: water... 'The problem of the scientific baker is to make water stand up!' The more nearly you make your flour consist of starch only ... the easier it is to make water stand up."
... Because of its tremendous speed and output, the steam-powered roller mill was precisely the invention needed to complete the centralization of the American milling industry. And because of the serious devitalization and impoverishment of the flour it produced, it played a major part in filling up the dietary deficiencies with which the nutritionists of World War II were obliged to deal. By the turn of the century most of the old mill wheels were rotting in the streams." (To-morrow's Food, pp. 37, 38, 60)
The results of the roller mill with regard to bread may be summarized in the words of Dr. Norman as follows: "In 1840, one ounce of genuine un-spoiled whole wheat bread made of whole stoneground wheat (not flour) contained thirty units of vitamin B1. One hundred years later, one ounce of white bread contained not thirty, but five unites of vitamin B1. Seven hundred units of vitamin B1 per day are considered necessary for the maintenance of good health. The daily consumption of whole wheat bread in 1840 assured 1,200 units of natural vitamin B1, while our average daily intake to-day assures only 200 units, mostly synthetic. Besides being robbed of vitamin B1, the wheat berry is robbed of other known and unknown dietary factors - proteins, other important fractions of the vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and a number of essential minerals. Footnote:
Anaemia from iron deficiency is a common cause of lowered vitality among poor women, particularly in pregnancy, and among their infants" (Medical Research Council's Memorandum on Bread. The Lancet, Aug. 3, 1940). According to the same Memorandum, the use of Baking Powder destroys the vitamin B content of bread, whether made from brown or white flour.)
To produce commercial white flour, the removal of these essential nutrient facts is considered necessary in order to decrease spoilage and to produce profits. White flour is sold to the bread or baker industries; part of the bran finds its way into bread factories for consumption by diabetics; middlings are processed by the breakfast food and cereal factories to give the gullible their quota of morning 'pep'; part of the wheat germ and wheat germ oil finds its way to the drug factories to be processed for pharmaceutical distribution where childless couples are urged to purchase it to restore their sex fertility - and most of this would be unnecessary if we ate foods as produced by Nature. Footnote: "Sterility due to vitamin E deficiency is commoner in women in England than had been suspected. This is not surprising when one bears in mind that the best sources of the vitamin are wheat germ and green vegetables and that large numbers of the poor people to-day live on diets consisting chiefly of white bread (which does not contain the germ) and containing very small amounts of green vegetables or salads" (The Englishman's Food, by Sir Jack Drummond, p.103). Quoted by Dr. Lionel Picton in Thoughts on Feeding, p. 168 Thoughts on Feeding is published by Faber and Faber, London.
What is left of the wheat berry is sold for livestock food. Other grains and cereals, including polished rice, are subjected to similar processing.
"Briefly summarized, the steel roller mill, mono crop agriculture, failure to conserve the soil or replenish it with humus, the combine, cyanosis treatment, separation of grains and cereals into several fractions which are used and sold separately, the centralization of the milling industry, etc., have dangerously altered our food economy and culture with respect to breadstuffs. Sadly enough, instead of the consumer receiving nutritious bread products at a cheaper price, he buys a starch product of dubious and unproved nutritive value, which as to be enriched before it is considered fit to eat, and pays an exorbitant price for it. (Lecture on the Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists.)
Dr. Norman's teaching is fully endorsed in an editorial on Our Daily Bread in the British Medical Journal, Oct. 13, 1951. We read there in: "It is difficult to believe that the insipid starch sponge sold as white bread really earns the alternative title of 'staff of life.' Yet we are assured that this is what the public wants, even though a minority craves for something more palatable- a minority which will heartily endorse Sir Edward Mellanby's plea that wholemeal bread and flour be made more freely available. Some of the millers' steel rollers might play a more direct part in the re-armament program. Nutritionally there is nothing to commend in the activities of those who separate the starch from all the other valuable nutrients of the wheat grain. It is sometimes argued that milling provides a valuable food for pigs, but the separation of the two elements of the grain creates nothing, and both man and his pas might be better for getting their proper share of the wholegrain."
A few supplementary remarks must now be made about brown bread, bleaching and phytic acid. They will serve to complete the picture.
"Writing a few years ago in the British Medical Journal, Mrs. V.G. Plummer, the well-known dietitian, stated: 'There can be no white bread versus brown bread controversy except among those who are ignorant of the facts.'" (Honest Bread and that which is not, by Bertram T. Fraser and C. Leslie Thompson, p.12 (Thorns Publishers, Ltd. 91, St. Martin's Lane, London, W.C.2)) Why is this? Because brown bread may be 100 per cent stoneground wholemeal, from which real honest bread can be made, or it may be white flour, steel-roller-ground, with some of the elements that have been removed in the process thrown back. The result of this manipulation is sometimes termed wheatmeal or wheaten loaf, but it must not be confused with 100 per cent wholewheat or wholemeal. (Cf. Honest Bread and that which is not, p. 10)
The bleach in regular use for twenty-five years was nitrogen trichloride. In an article in the Summer (1947) issue of Soil and Health, a summary is given of the paper from the pen of Sir Edward Mellanby, MD., F.R.S., on Diet and Canine Hysteria, which appeared in the British Medical Journal of december 14, 1946. Sir Edward conducted a series of experiments of dogs, and it soon became evident that hysterical outbreaks were produced by a diet containing flour treated by the agent process. Gene consisted of approximately 1 per cent nitrogen trichloride in air saturated with water-vapor. The outbreaks were entirely absent when the same diet contained untreated flour from the same grist. Sir Edward concluded his paper with the words: "The abnormal behavior of the animals affected by the agonized flour suggests that the central nervous system is primarily affected by some toxic agent, but other organs may also be involved ... It is clear that investigations must now be made to see whether human beings are affected by bread made from flour improved by nitrogen trichloride." Footnote: The word "improved" has been italicized by me. From Honest Bread and that which is not, we learn that ...
"...the flour samples used in the experiments were subjected only to 'a normal commercial bleach.' They were not overdosed in any way."
The same writer (Bertram T. Fraser) quotes from an editorial in the British Medical Journal as follows:
"Whatever the true explanation of the action of bleached flour may be, it is clearly undesirable that food unfit for dogs should be eat by the human subject without at least a full realization of the dangers involved... The estimate that 90 per cent. of the flour consumed in this country is agenised cannot fail to give rise to some anxiety."
In replying on behalf of the Government, after a very interesting discussion in the English House of Lords on the Quality of Flour, Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough said: "The noble Lord, Lord Teviot, referred to the presence of agene in bread, and he went so far as to refer to it as a 'definite poison.' I would like to assure your Lordships that the present methods of treatment of bread, which have been widely used for twenty-five years, have not been proved injurious in any way to human beings. But recent evidence has become available such as that quoted this afternoon by the noble Lord, Lord Semill, of the possible toxic effects of this commonly used improver. Because of the evidence coming to light, certain experiments have been carried out, particularly on dogs. For this reason a committee on which the Medical Research Council is represented has looked into the matter and has recommended in future that, instead of the improvers which have been used, and upon which these experiments have been based, chlorine dioxide should be used. This recommendation has been adopted in the United Kingdom, but I ought to warn your Lordships that it will take a little time to change over the necessary plant to give full effect to this decision." (Hansard, April 25, 1950
My readers will notice that the sole preoccupation of the Minister was with the auxiliary machinery to be used in the mills to get the chlorine dioxide into the flour. He did not seem to be perturbed about the effect of this new substance on the organisms of the flour-consumers. Of course, he said that the Medical Research Council was represented on the committee that recommended it. But one may well ask what the Medical Research Council was doing during the twenty-five years of the nitrogen tricholoride regime. For Sir Edward Mellanby did not detect all its evil effects. "One year after the Mellanby report, Dr. Anton J. Carlson announced to the American Association for the advancement of Science his belief that agenised flour... is at least among the contributing factors to the nervous instability among the population that could be responsible for a portion of the up curve in public drinking. Dr. Carlson believed that although apparently normal people might show no symptoms comparable with those in dogs, agonized flour might be the final factor responsible for producing an alcoholic." Footnote (Honest Bread and that which is not, p. 64 Are we in the Irish Republic still living under the nitrogen trichloride regime? Or have we passed under the "more benign" influence of the chlorine dioxide "improver"? Two of my friends who visited a South of Ireland flour-mill, in the summer of 1950, were almost overcome by the fumes of the chemical department.
D.D.T. and Chemical Additives
Lord Douglas of Barloch spoke in the House of Lords, on 4th July, 1951, on the dangers to human health in the form of the use of poisonous chemicals, such as D.D.T., in the growing and preparation of foodstuffs. He pointed out that not only is D.D.T. exceptionally toxic, but that there is no known antidote. "It is absorbed by plants and cannot be removed. Hence, all fruits and vegetables which have been exposed to D.D.T., are carriers of it to the consumers. Animals fed on hay or other food exposed to it are affected. Owing to its solubility in fat, milk is especially affected by it. The spraying of D.D.T. in cowsheds has been found sufficient to affect the milk, and in the United States diary farmers have been officially advised not to do this. Butter sold on the New York market has been found with as much as thirteen parts per million of this dangerous drug ... D.D.T. has also been found in cigarettes up to as much as four parts per million (one part per million is enough to kill a rat) - presumably due to the spraying of the tobacco leaf... Some chemicals are used for 'maturing' flour in the space of a few hours, whereas nature takes weeks to effect this, and also for giving to inferior flour the characteristics of better flour. Others are used for a loaf which contains more air and water ... The use of agent has been discontinued in the United States. It took several years longer for a decision in principle to be reached in this country, and only a few weeks ago the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food stated that about 90 percent of the flour consumed in this country was agonized."
Footnote: Hansard, Vol. 172, No. 80. July 4, 1951
"So far as can be ascertained, infection has sometimes occurred through the consumption of contaminated food alone, or when D.D.T. has been used for a purely domestic purpose, such as moth-proofing... Contaminator may occur in any number of ways: through the consumption of butter or milk the product of animals which have consumed affected fodder... And so, although warnings against the indiscriminate use of D.D.T. have frequently been given or implied by the Soil Association, a reiteration of these warnings - which now hold additional weight in view of the increasing knowledge concerning the effects in actual preach of D.D.T. and other materials - must be made. And to back up this commendation, Dr. Morton S. Buskin's report, 'Statement on Clinical Intoxication from D.D.T. and other New Insecticides,' which the author has kindly made available to the Association, has now been published in booklet form and can be obtained in any quantity, at 6d. per copy from the Soil Association's Landon Office.
Chemical Treatment of Seed
In Pay Dirt, Mr. J. I. Rodale, Editor of Organic Gardening, after having spoken of the chemical treatment of seed with poisonous material to prevent "seed-borne diseases such as smut," and the spraying of stored wheat with syanogas, "which is a very strong poison," goes on to say: "This discussion has not taken into account the strong bleaches used to whiten flour. Labet, a French authority on the subject of bread, says, in the Bulletin of Hygiene: 'The danger of chronic intoxication following the persistent use of bread made with flour that has been bleached and artificially matured by means of chemical improvers is held to be sufficiently well established to make the absolute prohibition of the use of any chemical improver in France highly desirable." Mr. Rodale then continues: "Now we got a step further. What happens to the flour when it arrives in the bakery? In the book, Eat, Drink, and be Wary, by P.J. Schlink, appears this statement: 'The amount of lead which reaches the consumer's stomach via bakery goods must be enormous and gravely menacing to health, judging from the foregoing statement which describes a typical condition; and from the fact recently disclosed by an analysis conducted for Consumers' Research that ammonium carbonate, used commonly as a leaving (gas-forming) agent in certain baker's goods such as cookies and cakes, contained, as obtained from a commercial bakery in a large mid-western city, the enormous and treating proportion of 70 parts per million of lead ... Research in such contaminations is made very difficult so that a consumers' organization has the utmost difficulty in even getting samples of the very special and very peculiar materials used in the common baking industry - the various pie-filling mixtures, the highly colored and synthetic custards...'" (Pay Dirt, p. 120 The Devin-Adair Co. New York.)
May we not subscribe the words of the (then) Viscount Lymington
"White bread as we eat it now is a scandal and a curse to civilization ... White bread, like white sugar, is a shoddy cheap food that results in 5,000,000 pounds a year being spent in advertisements for patent medicines."
Footnote: England and the Farmer, p 19. Viscount Lymington is now the Earl of Portsmouth. It is not surprising that c. Henry Warren wrote some years ago: "Medical Science is largely occupied in adapting our bodies to an unnatural way of living, just as agricultural science is largely occupied i nadpating our land to an unnatural way of arming. The results are by no means encouraging either way." England and the Farmer, p. 66
It will be well, before leaving the question of processed flour and bread, to say a few words about the accusation brought against wholewheat bread of producing rickets in children. This accusation was made in a Report entitled The Incidence of Rickets and Wholemeal Bread, drawn up by two chemists, D.W. Kent-Jones and A.J. Amos, who followed up the line of research indicated by two other chemists, Widdowson and McCance, in 1942. Bertram T. Fraser examines the point at great length. "The government of Eire," he writes, "introduced a loaf made from 100 per cent wholemeal flour and this is blamed for the production of rickets in Dublin children because of the higher proportion of phatic acid in wholemeal. This substance runs off with lime to form an insoluble salt resulting in the loss of an element which is essential for the building of bones in growing children as well las for many other purposes. At first the chemists' arguments seems to be sound, so sound, indeed, as to lead one 'high authority,' according to the authors of the Report, to say that never again would he be so foolish as to advocate wholemeal bread after having seen so much misery and ill-health caused thereby.
"But the argument is not so sound as it appears, and the Report itself states the solution to the problem, although the authors of it have passed over very casually. Kent-Jones and Amos agree that there was a deficiency of lime in the Dublin children's diet. 'It may well have been,' they say, 'that the intake of calcium of the poorer classes in Dublin has always been on the low side, but it was apparently sufficient to prevent the deficiency of disease of rickets occurring.' They seem to have been satisfied because there was enough calcium to prevent rickets so long as the bread was white - a very poor standard indeed. Obviously the children were eating too much bread and too little lime-rich food, and to replace whole -flour by flour of lower extraction was simply to rob them further, but in less immediately obvious ways. When rickets appeared after the introduction of 100 per cent wholemeal, what the investigators should have seen immediately was that the children were living in conditions of lime-starvation." Honest Bread and that which is now, pp. 19,21,24
The authors of the Report admit that the trouble should have been met by increasing the consumption of calcium, for the Report concludes: "It is true that to counteract the troubles the total intake of calcium can be increased so that if some is rendered unavailable there will still be a sufficiency available." "Instead of advocating such a procedure," writes Mr. Fraser, "they preferred to condemn wholemeal. The dublin diet ought to have been gone into with a view to finding out whether it was well balanced, and inquiry made into such simple questions as to whether the vegetables were being conservatitivly cooked, were any gas greens being eaten daily and was the milk pasteurized and so made unfit for children to drink. Investigation along these lines would soon have revealed the true cause of the rickets." Footnote: Honest Bread and That which is Not, p. 25
"A quart of fresh unpasteurized milk contains a third of the adult requirement of vitamin C. Pasteurization robs us every year of as much ascorbic acid as is contained in the entire citrus crop of the Inited States. It also robs us of some calcium, which pasteurization converts to unassimilable forms. Are these losses any longer necessary to ensure that milk may not serve as a carrier of such diseases as bovine tuberculosis, septic sore throat, scarlet fever, typhoid, diphtheria, and undulant fever? Scarcely. (Tomorrow's Food, p. 102)
Mr. Fraser, as we have seen, examines the Phytic acid bogey very seriously. The authors of To-morrow's Food do not attach so much importance to it. "During World War II," they write, "the alleged 'phatic acid' hazard of whole grain bread caused a similar and equally ephemeral alarm. Experiments by McCance and Widdowson appeared to show that the large amount phytic acidic whole grain bread caused a drop in the absorption of calcium. In 1946 the 'phytic acid' bugaboo was authoritatively disposed of by the careful research of Walker, Irving and Fox, sponsored by the National Research Council of South Africa. The South African investigators showed that human body quickly adjusts to the higher phytic acid content of whole grain bread and that the initial loss of calcium is soon made up. This answers the question: Why did the peasant populations of Europe never experience any calcium deficiency because of their consumption of whole grain bread and flour? Realistic food scientist in this country had been prompt to ask this question when the 'phytic acid' bugaboo was first given currency by the commercial milling and baking interests." To-morrow's Food by J. Rorty and N. Philip Norman, MD pp. 64, 65
When we take account of the fact that calcium was added to bread in England in 1942, and that the addition was made compulsory in 1943 (Speech of Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough Hansard, April 25, 1950) it seems even more noteworthy that the report of Kent-Jones and Amos should not recommend that procedure but attack wholemeal flour. Since money can be made by "enriching" flour as well as by devitalizing it, it is significant that all the attention is devoted to the onslaught on the nutritionally superior food. Needless to say, the evil effects of pasteurization on the calcium in milk were not mentioned in the Report. It is imperative that food-processing combines be compelled to practice Social Justice and to subordinate their private profit making to the Common Good.
To eat bread or not?
Thank you, once again, Father Fahey for sharing with us your pearls of wisdom. Amazing how information from over 60 years ago may still be useful to us. Basic white flour is still bleached for the same reasons of preserving and making it a pretty white color. While D.D.T. was banned in 1970, Monsanto has developed a round up ready wheat (source). Which enters the realm of deciding if GMO's and Round Up are safe for us to use. Is it safer than D.D.T., which was just shown to be mostly in use because of the money to be made. That will have to be a post for another day.
Should we eat bread? It seems that from Father Fahey's words and from even more modern research that it isn't the bread/gluten that seems to be the cause of such high numbers of chronic diseases and illnesses. Rather it seems to be more the content of the soil, how and when it is harvested, how it is milled and how it is prepared. Along with the other aspects of our diet and how they work with bread for proper digestion and health. It seems that many diets focus on the QUANTITY of a certain for group without taking into mind the QUALITY of that food group. A proper balance is needed for both quantity and quality.
How can one put these wonderful pearls of wisdom to use in our time? It seems from the writings which we have shared today that one could improve health in steps: first off by baking our own bread, using a high quality flour or even grinding our own wheat. Being careful in the type of wheat that we choose insuring there are less pesticides and chemicals in them and also by souring our bread, which makes the wheat more digestible and lesses the level of gluten. Also improving the dairy that we consume, using raw milk when available or low heat pasteurized, organic with little to no chemicals and using that in reasonable amounts which may be easily dictated by price of high quality raw milk. Also making our cheese, butter, ice cream etc. from the same high quality milk. Fermenting it into kefir and yogurt also help the digestion of the milk and make the nutrients more available.
Find a recipe for homemade sourdough here. With just a few minutes a day will have you wonderful healthful bread. Make sure you also checkout the next chapter in Father Fahey's book titled Food Processing and Health.
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Will you be making a change to the bread and/or milk served in your home?
In the Hoop House …
The hoop house at the beginning of January. A few things survived the winter but were not in the ground soon enough to give us much more than a snippet here and there. Just a little note, there are links contained in this blog post that help to finance our little farm if purchases are made through those links. Thank you for helping us out #downonthefarm !
Around the Pasture …
In the Farm Kitchen …
Our daily sourdough bread, still rising strong and happy thanks to Saint Anthony (patron of bread makers) and our Good Cook Stoneware pans are still holding up after 3 years of daily use.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls… a favorite Sunday breakfast down on the farm. And served in another Cook Cook Stoneware piece, their pie plate. Lov'n how these hold up and how affordable they are! Stoneware cooks up so beautifully!
We are still fermenting away, or as the Farmer calls it, science experiments. He has told me I need a lab just for them. Pictured above some strawberry flavored kombucha and some kefir in the process of straining.
It's been a busy month in the kitchen I guess but with the cold and wet weather I guess one is inside more! These are some lovely whole wheat blueberry sourdough muffins we had one Sunday.
Lov'n that cast iron! Pictured above Skillet Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole.
Lentil Skillet Tamale Pie. (Click the link for our tutorial and recipe.)
Some of this month's kitchen inspiration comes from this lovely spice set that was a Christmas gift. We have been traveling the world in our kitchen in the middle of January. Taking these spices and turning them into seasonal down on the farm food. Its been quite a fun adventure! So far we have been to Morocco, India, Mexico, Kansas City, Lebanon and Greece.
A day in the life of our farm stove. It gets a work out that is for sure! This Christmas/birthday was the season for kitchen giving and I'm rather enjoying the new tea kettle. Our last one was five years old or more and it would always drip hot water when it was poured insuring a good burn. As you can imagine, blending our own teas on the farm, this tea kettle was used all the time. And then we were blessed with this Sori Yanagi Stainless Steel Kettle. Its shorter and built really well and heats up fast!
There are some beans in the pressure cooker, our daily sourdough bread and some onion/apple mix in the cast iron skillet for our Morrocon dish we had that night.
What's New in the Farm Store…
We were blessed with some wonderfully warm sunny days down on the farm this month and this tea is perfect for those days. A bold green tea with a hint of citrus and the ever nutritious goji berries. Check out our Organic Orange Jasmine Loose Leaf tea blend here in our Etsy shop or right here in our online store.
We busy updating our photos in our Etsy shop as well as adding our products right here to our own online shop. Granny's Everything Salve is just great to have around for every occasion be it a cut, burn, bruise or bump…. or perhaps when you lost your work gloves and ended up with a blister after trying to dig out tree stumps… what ever it may be! ;) Check it out here in our shop and on Etsy.
While there are other components of bread that make it even healthier (fermentation, how it is harvested and when) milling is a simple way to improve the health of the bread we consume. Today we are sharing an article out of our favorite 'homesteading' book called Rural Roads to Security, written by Joseph Husslein S.J. Ph. D. with an imprimatur from 1940.
MILLING AT HOME - A HOMESTEAD RESEARCH STUDY
… Our ancestors, the pioneers who subdued the virgin forests and conquered the frontier, subsisted on the hardy diet of whole grains. They could scarcely have survived the hardships to which they were subjected if they had consistently eaten what the American public eats today, chiefly breadstuffs made from denatured and debased wheat and corn, totally different products from the pioneers' whole grain breadstuffs.
The factory-begotten products, white flour, bleached middlings, starchy corn meal, parched corn flakes and bran, are undesirable forms of very desirable foodstuffs. The public is not eating a superior foodstuff because factories have taken over the milling of wheat and corn. On the contrary, in developing the many different industries which use wheat, corn, and other cereals to produce foods of various kinds, the millers have succeeded in eliminating from them most of the tissue-building vitamins, mineral salts and colloids, including the salts of iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, silicon, calcium, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, and sulphur. These are sifted out, leaving behind the white starch cells and refined gluten of the interior part of the kernel.
Whole wheat is now a negligible part of the milling industry, yet it contains far more nutriment than the anemic but universally popular white flour. Whole wheat contains 10.6 per cent water, 12.2 percent protein, 1.7 percent fat, 73.7 percent carbohydrates, 1.8 percent mineral matter; white flour contains 23.0 percent water, 11.4 percent protein, 1.0 percent fat, 75.1 percent carbohydrates, and .5 percent mineral matter. While the difference in protein (.7 percent) is of great importance, the difference in the mineral matter 72.2 percent) which contains most vital elements because enormous when you consider the fact that bread is still suppose to be the staff of life, eaten three times a day, every day of the year.
White bread not the staff of life
White bread is no longer entitled to be called the staff of life. It is rich in heat units (starch) but lacking in tissue-building and energy-giving material. Nutritionists who recommend white bread (and doctors who have a kindly word for it) usually add the highly important reservation that vegetables or other rich sources of minerals must be added to the diet to offset the deficiency in bread.
Careful scientific experiments have proved beyond doubt that white bread is not suitable for human or animal consumption. When monkeys, chickens, guinea pigs, or mice have been fed on an exclusive diet of white bread, they have lost weight, become diseased, and died. Numerous instances are recorded of human beings literally starving to death on white bread - the most conspicuous example being the loss of 4,000 men forced to live on white-flour diet while constructing 222 miles of track connecting Boliva and Brazil.
nor is factory-made corn meal
What is true of white flour and other bold and sifted wheat products is true of factory-made corn meal, whose fibrous outer coats, oily germ, and flinty starchy parts have been mainly eliminated. The nutritive differences between the commercial product which comes out of the modern high-speed mill and the whole grain which can be ground at home are enormous. The whole kernel contains 10 percent protein; refined corn meal, a fifth less - 8 percent; the whole kernel has 4 3/4 percent fat (a substance containing the "fat soluble A" which children require for growth and adults must have for good health), the refined kernel only about one fourth as much. Finally, the whole grain contains vitalizing mineral salts in the ration of 15 parts to 1000; in the factory product this has been reduced to 4 parts in 1000.
"The near-corn for which man tries with little success to develop an appetite," said Alfred McCann, "will kill poultry, hogs, and cows. Chickens feed on it will die in less than iffy days. Children fed on it to the exclusion of other offsetting foods will speedily develop pellagra. Children ed on it with insufficient of milk and fruit so lose vitality and resistance to disease that they become lazy victims of any infection that passes along."
consumption of white bread and refined grains has high correlation with many ailments
White bread is not a normal foodstuff; it is an artificial food developed to fit the needs of the milling industry. Until recent times, the diet of bread-eating peoples consisted entirely of dark breads, and in many parts of the world white bread is still unknown.
In spite of the claims made by the milling industry for white flour, the fact remains that the introduction of large amounts of white bread and white-flour products into the dietary of civilized peoples has had a deleterious effect on their health. Many authorities believe that the alarming growth of constipation, cancer, and nervous disorders might be correlated with the widespread consumption of foods made from ultra refined cereals. Far from providing adequate nutrition, white flour and breakfast foods are injurious to health and in two particular ways: First, they are so meager in cellulose, mineral sales, colloids, and vitamins that they lower resistance to disease. Secondly, they are not entirely digestible, hence cause constipation; and constipation, medical science recognizes, usual prepares the stage for the appearance of more malignant and degenerative diseases.
Doctors John H. Musser and George Morris Piersol, of the University of Pennsylvania, are specific in connecting the most common American ailment, constipation, with the irrational taste for white bread which the baking and milling industry has created in the public. "Dietetic errors," they say, "are among the most frequent general causes of constipation. These consist in food which is deficient in residue )bran) by reason of which the bowel is deprived of the mechanical and chemical stimuli necessary to promote proper intestinal activity." Their advice is to eat "whole wheat bread, whole rye bread, or pumpernickel - in preference to white bread." As far back as 1915, Docor Horace Packard, of bosom University, listed the consumption of refined cereals among the suspected causes of cancer. Speaking before the Surgical and Gynecological Society of the American Institute of Homeopathy, he said:
The human family is underfed in mineral salts. A momentous fact is that the flour mills of the civilized world are sending out food material rich in heat units but pitifully meager in energizing and immunizing matieral. Since a critical examination not the habits of life of civilized cancer-plauged people in comparison with the habits of primitive cancer-free people shows that the main difference between them is a dietary poor in mineral salts among the cancer-free people, the most logical and rational course is to adopt this as a keynote to cancer treatment.
Research at the Liverpool School of tropical Medicine proved that people who lived chiefly on bread made from wheat whose outer coats had been removed were subject to a form of peripheral neuritis. Dr. Benjamin Moore, Chief of the biochemical Department of the same institution, definitely associated the popularity of white bread with the growth of nervous diseases.
Our nerves as a nation are much less stable than in the days prior to the white bread diet. All our work suggests that the growing tendency of the age to neurasthenia, "nerves," etc., is not unlikely due to removing from our diet those very elements of feral food which nature has hidden in the husk of the grain, and which mann in his ignorance, discards.
why bleach flour?
Not content with turning out flour robbed of most of its health-giving qualities, the millers have further cheapened their product by bleaching it by an electrochemical process. Flour as it comes from the mill is not white but slightly yellow, owing to the presence of a valuable yellow food substance, carotene. Flour turns white by the natural oxidizing process of the air if allowed to stand for several weeks or months. Millers, however, cannot afford to store flour for so long a time and hence an artificial mode of bleaching was invent.d "What storage could not accomplish in 120 days, these bleaching processes miraculously do in one day!"
Bleaching not only destroys the carotene, a valuable source of Vitamin A (absence of which leads to retarded growth, poor appetite, and digestion) but leaves toxic deposits of nitrites in the flour.
The amount of carotene in the flour is so minute that, offhand,its destruction by bleaching might be regarded as unimportant But, as Dr., Monier Williams, of the British Ministry of Health points out, "bread forms a large part of the diet and the absolute amount of carotene which it can contribute is by no means negligible… If the consumer takes the trouble to think about it at all, he will, I think, prefer that all flour shall retain its natural color and not be treated with a highly active oxidizing agent such as chlorine, which may have unknown effects on some unsuspected, but possibly important constituent of flour."
Not only is bleaching undesirable because of injury to health, but it permits inferior, spoiled, and discolored flour to be blended with small amounts of superior flour, and the resulting mediocre though uniform product may be sold off as grade A patent flour. This stratagem rewards the miller with from fifty cents to a dollar extra per barrel.
Switzerland, France, and Denmark have forbidden the bleaching of flour. In the Inited States bleaching is permitted, although the practice was attacked as long ago as 1906. Several states passed laws barring it, and so much controversy arose that the United States Public health SErvice undertook an extensive study of the effects of bleaching. The gist of its findings, published in 1910, was that an amount of nitrates able the tolerance for safety was deposited in the flour, that this lessened the digestibility of the gluten in the flour, and that their ingestion should be decreed as much as possible.
Armed with this conclusive evidence, the Federal Government attempted to halt bleaching and actually won a victory over the milling industry in the Supreme Court. But, oddly enough, the Food and Drug Administration "read into the opinion of the Supreme Court an entirely antagonistic statement respecting injury to health … (and) the very law which the Supreme Court has said was enacted chiefly to protect the public has been turned not a measure to threaten public health and to defraud the purchasers of flour." Since the federal authorities were negligent, millers who at first refused to bleach were forced by competition to do so. The farthest the government would go in protecting the consumer was to require bleached flora to be so labeled if shipped in interstate commerce …
what american people could gain by milling at home
Milling equipment such as the School of Living recommends can be purchased for $37 (our note: obviously we have inflation since 1940, but modern home grain mills range from a couple hundred dollars onwards). The mill can be used to make all your flour and breakfast foods, as well as to grind course feeds for cattle and poultry. This mill utilizes self-aligning burrs for the actual grinding, instead of the great, clumsy millstones which were used before the modern roller mill took over the production of flour and cereals.
With one of these mills, you become independent of the flour and breakfast food factory. If every American family baked and milled at home, the American people would save $599,687,886 annually. (Our note: Vast even without inflation!)This vast sum could be diverted to the purchase of commodities which they cannot now afford.
The average family in the United States now consumes around 4.23 barrels of flour every year. Each mill put into operation in an American home would reduce the demand for factory-made flour and cereals by4.23 barrels. About 30 million of these domestic mills would destroy the milling industry and the 27.805 persons now employed in flour and feral mills would be reeled for other and more useful work.
If every family milled at home, it would do away with the incredible folly of concentrating huge armies of workers, salaried employees, and executives in the great cities where these large mills are now located; of shipping both the grain and its products back and forth across the continent; and of trying to support all these nonessential mills with superfluous million-dollar averting campaigns to persuade you to eat more flora and cereals.
If every family milled at home, it would improve the status of the farmer, who then would produce for a local or regional market, with prices fixed by local consumption. Sacks of wheat and corn would be sold in all grocery stores instead of sacks of flora and cartons of cereals. The farmer would be in closer touch with the consumer, and a large number of nonessential middlemen would be eliminated. The net result would be higher and more equitable prices for the farmer without increasing the price to the consumer.
In addition, if the demand for devitalized white flour, ultra refined corn meal, parched corn flakes, woody bran and the like ended, not only would the nonessential mills disappear, but many of our patent-medicine factors would have to close. For a large part of the stock remedies in modern drugstores consist of patent and purgatives in liquid, powdered, and pill form. These products which are absolutely essential in this age of white flour and refined grains, become more or less nonessential if some of the principal dietetic causes of constipation are eliminated.
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