|Weatherbury's flours are stone milled.
Stone milling was the only way to make flour into grain until the
late 1800s. The movement of the stone crushes the entire grain and
retains all the vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and fiber contained
in the grain. The friction from the stones heats the flour up
gradually preventing the loss of enzymes and vitamins in the flour
without compromising the baking quality. In the newer roller
mills of the 1860's the process is at much higher temperatures and
faster (& economical) and is designed to extract as much white flour
as possible from each grain. This roller milling process produces a flour that lacks the
proteins, oils, vitamins and mineral constituents present in the
original grain as the germ and bran are removed.1
Traditional milling is the only way to ensure the integrity, quality, flavor and nutritional value of flour. In its whole state, grain contains a natural balance of starch, protein, vitamins, and fiber. In wheat, many oils and essential B and E vitamins are concentrated in the wheat germ, the life-force of the grain. With stone milling, the endosperm, bran, and germ remain in their natural, original proportion (unless you sift out some of the bran, as we do in our unbleached/light flour products). As the stones grind slowly, the germ is not exposed to excessive temperatures which causes the oil from the germ to oxidize and become rancid. Oxidization and rancidity will then destroy much of the vitamin content. With stone milling, there will also be less nutritive losses due to oxygen exposure as stone ground flour is usually coarser.2,3
Interestingly enough, whole grain flours made from conventional wheats are not the healthy foods they are promoted to be. Pesticide residues tend to accumulate in the bran so that a whole wheat flour which is not organic has, in fact, a heavier pesticide content than a white flour.4
Weatherbury's grains and milled products are certified organic which means they are grown without chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and chemicals.
An interesting summary of the chemicals used in grain production is discussed on the Irish site ballybrado.com5: "The list of chemicals used in today’s production of grain and flour is frightening. It starts already before the grain is even sown when the weeds on the land are killed off with weed killers to give a smooth tilling of the soil. The seed which is then sown has been dressed with a cocktail of chemicals, some of which have been linked with the collapse of bee colonies.
After the grain emerges synthetic fertilizers are applied, resulting in - what nature would call “ill-growth”. This will require multiple spraying of fungicides and, depending on the year, insecticides too. Should the grain grow too tall straw shorteners are sprayed on the crop, and in order to ease harvesting the grain is often killed off with weed killers a few days before harvest, sprayed directly onto the grain.
At harvest the grain is normally too moist for storage. Storage chemicals are now needed to prevent the development of mould.
Once the grain is dried it goes to the miller, who regularly fumigates his mill with chemicals to control grain beetles, moths, mites or cockroaches. At milling often bleaching agents are applied to freshen up the look of the flour, some flours receive preservatives too. But it doesn’t end here.
Before you have bread on the table a baker is needed, and he uses more chemicals: More preservatives, bread improvers, colorants, flavourings, emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilisers, acidity regulators, sweeteners, E this and E that. Many flours which he uses are already prepared baking mixes. A different one for every product and most of them have been chemically “optimised” by a food technician.
Up to 100 different chemicals follow the grain from growing to baking. The dough that finally ends up in the baking tin contains often such an amount of chemicals that many bakers are suffering from severe skin allergies brought about by their work place.
And you? Do you realize that you eat all these chemicals? These won’t kill you, but they add up in your body, and add up, and add up. And one day they will affect your health. Don’t forget: none of these chemicals benefit you and your health; they only benefited all those who took part in the production process."
Articles about foods to buy organically usually focus on fruits and vegetables. A Danish study gives a new perspective with a hazard index showing wheat flour second only to apples as a source of pesticides.6 The major source of pesticide residues is the application of these pesticides directly to the wheat after harvest while the grain is being put into storage. These pesticides could potentially be applied not only at the farm, but also at the elevator and again at the grain mill.
Aren't you glad Weatherbury Farm's grains and flours are organically grown and milled?
1061 Sugar Run Road
Avella, Pennsylvania 15312
|Weatherbury Farm is a non-smoking farm.|
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Revised: March 18, 2014
Weatherbury Grains have been online since March 18,2014