Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] What if Everything You Knew About Grains Was Wrong?

From the 19 March 2014 post by Twilight Greenaway at Civil Eats

A variety of foods made from wheat.

A variety of foods made from wheat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First it was produce. Then the local food movement expanded to take on meat. Now it’s all about grains.

Nothing proves this point more than the packed room I found myself in last Sunday morning. At the point in the week when most people are unfurling their copy of the New York Times, or making their second leisurely café au lait, I filed in to the back of the dining area at Oliveto, a high-end Italian restaurant in Oakland, to join around 100 people gathered to discuss local grains.

The event was hosted by Community Grains, a Bay Area company founded by Oliveto owner Bob Klein, which sells local whole grain flour, pasta, polenta, and beans. It brought restaurateurs, foodies, journalists, bakers like Tartine Bakery’s Chad Robertson, who has been using local and heirloom grain varieties in recent years, and farmers such as Paul Muller from the iconic Full Belly Farm out on a Sunday morning.

The post continues with points made at the presentation, including

  • Milling destroys nutrients. “The heat, oxygenation, and stress of the milling process makes the vitamins nearly impossible to recover.”
  • Many whole wheat products result from bran  added back in to white flour
  • “Grocery store products only need to be 51 percent whole grain to receive one of those brown and orange “Whole Grain” stamps by the Whole Grains Council.”
  • “Wheat is generally much more minerally dense than other staple crops,” said Killilea. “But most nutrients get milled out. We lose half the B vitamins, and lots of the vitamin E.” This last part is important, because wheat is a source of gamma vitamin E (or gamma tocopherol), which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Today, however, Pollan has hope. He pointed to a new crop of grain farmers, like the ones working with Community Grains, such as Front Porch Farm and the Mendocino Grain Project, who are breeding wheat for flavor and old world baking. Combine this trend with innovative milling techniques, and Pollan believes we can have healthy bread that tastes good too–and not just in foodie enclaves like the Bay Area. “We need to create a whole economy, in fact a whole culture, that will make whole grain bread fantastic tasting,” he told the crowd.

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January 27, 2015 - Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , , ,

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