HOW WE PROCESS OUR WHEAT
We have found, over the years, a lot of people who are “wheat sensitive” or “gluten intolerant” are able to tolerate our wheat products. I’ve done a lot of research over the years on wheat and how it is processed and have some thoughts on why “our” wheat products are tolerable versus wheat products that are mass-produced.
Our soft, red wheat is grown, by our family, in Bleckley County, Ga. After harvest, we take the wheat berries, put them in our commercial mill, and grind them between 2 stones. This produces “virgin” whole-wheat flour. We refer to it as “virgin,” because it is untouched from the berry to the flour. This is “true” whole-wheat flour unlike anything you get off a shelf. Let me explain…
WHAT IS WHOLE GRAIN?
Whole grain literally means the whole grain. There are different whole grains such as brown rice, spelt, quinoa, wheat, and many others. But for the sake of this explanation, we’ll stick to discussing the whole grain, wheat.
What is in a whole grain of wheat? There are 3 parts that make a wheat berry whole-the bran, germ, and endosperm.
The bran contains many vitamins and minerals. But it is mostly fiber. It is like the abrasive side of a sponge. It scrubs the digestive track clean as its insoluble fiber/roughage pushes waste out. Bran is what makes you feel full.
The germ is a powerhouse of many nutrients. The nutrients in wheat germ support many of your body’s vital functions. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, which is the antioxidant of all antioxidants, needed in every cell. This is also where the B vitamins are-thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folate. The “B” vitamins contribute to nerve and brain function, regulate energy levels and promote healthy skin. Iron allows your body to utilize oxygen and facilitates energy production. Potassium regulates blood pressure, and magnesium promotes healthy metabolic function. Wheat germ’s high levels of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B vitamins make it a power food for nourishing a healthy pregnancy, notes the American Pregnancy Association. EFAs (Omega-3 and 6) are also found in here. We do not produce this, and therefore, need it in our diet.
The endosperm is mostly starch, a simple carbohydrate. This is what white flour is. This is where the protein/gluten is. Unless you’re Celiac, gluten in its natural form is not the “bad guy.”
Are “whole wheat” products, really “whole” wheat?
Commercial millers separate the bran and germ from the endosperm. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has different requirements for whole wheat, 100% whole wheat, whole grain, and 100% whole grain.
“According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a whole grain is a grain that retains its basic form with key components intact after milling. You can call a grain product “whole grain” if at least 51% of its grains are whole.” With regulations, marketing, and all the confusing propaganda, who knows what the labeling means and what you are actually getting.
WHY ARE THE NUTRIENTS SEPARATED OUT?
The bran and germ go to the health industry as you can buy a jar of bran, or a jar of germ, at a vitamin shop or specialty health food store.
Middlings are a by-product of the bran and goes to the livestock industry.
With the unsaturated oils extracted from wheat germ it is a rich, natural source of vitamin E. Wheat germ oil can be used as a supplement to boost your intake of this vitamin, which promotes red blood cell formation and supports your immune system. Vitamin E may have antioxidant properties that counteract cellular damage and reduce the harmful effects of environmental toxins. Some cosmetics companies promote wheat germ oil as a product ingredient that may moisturize skin and hair, diminish the effects of aging and reduce the appearance of scars. Germ oil is used in the cosmetic industry.
Through a washing process, the gluten is extracted from the endosperm. Unnatural amounts of gluten are added to many, many commercial food products. In our opinion, this overabundance of gluten is why so many people cannot tolerate wheat products. Our bodies were not created to process that much gluten.
It’s not that the wheat is “bad,” in its natural form. It’s that all the good parts of wheat are processed out and then when, or if, added back, it’s not in the same proportions as it was created.
Back to our whole wheat products. We take the entire berry and it grinds between 2 stones. The flour comes out and we use it in our products-untouched, unaltered, in its purest form. That is why we think people are able to tolerate our wheat whole wheat products versus those that are mass-produced. We believe the more we get back to the basics and eat what God has called good, it will be good for our bodies too.
Now, doesn’t that make sense?
HOW CAN YOU GET ALL THE 35-40 NUTRIENTS FROM WHOLE WHEAT?
Here are a few ways:
- Buy our Homemade Baking Mixes.
- Sign up for a whole grain baking class (coming soon) to learn how you can mill and bake with whole grains.
- Peruse our website for house-made, ready to eat products available for pick-up (some products may be available for shipping. It will be indicated in the description.)
We are constantly looking for ways to make true whole grain foods accessible to our local and internet community. Let us know how we can help you! We always open to suggestions.
Our family headed back to the basics over 20 years ago when our children had health issues. God healed our children of asthma, and ADHD tendencies, by giving us wisdom to treat them nutritionally. That made us realize that when we get back to the basics of eating God’s “manna,” His Creation, we will experience health and healing.
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