Refined White Flour EVERYWHERE
My son's godfather, Michael, shared the concept of the reticular-activating system with me a few years ago. It's the part of our brain that lights up as we start paying attention to something. For example when you want to buy a new car and you're considering say, a mini-cooper. Pretty soon all you start seeing are mini-coopers, everywhere. Well, my reticular-activating system is stimulated to see wheat, and what I see is refined white flour EVERYWHERE. Maybe that's because it is EVERYWHERE. I'm traveling and far away from life on my farm and Marin County's organic agriculture. I'm covering a lot of ground and wheat keeps coming into my consciousness. It's no wonder because it's the largest human crop in the world. I saw it in the Cafe Car on Amtrak traveling between Boston and Penn Station in the form of breakfast cereals, bagels and muffins. At lunch in the delis there's sandwiches on squishy white french rolls, focaccia and pita. In restaurants there's pasta, pizza and tortillas. The trouble is that most of these products are made with refined white flour, and refined white flour is making us sick. To begin with, refined white flour not only has very few nutrients - except for the synthetic ones that are added back - it's like eating pure starch and gums up our systems. White flour is made from a milling practice that separates the parts of the grain and uses only the white starchy part or endosperm. A grain of wheat has three main components: germ, bran and the endosperm.
The germ and the bran contain all the good stuff, the nutrients and fiber. The germ is packed with B vitamins, healthy fats, minerals and folic acid. The bran has fiber which is essential for proper digestion. It's these three elements working together that make whole grains good for reducing the incidence of Alzheimer's, some cancers, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease.
Michael Pollan describes in his newest book,
, that after white sugar and white flour were introduced in Europe and the United States, several doctors and scientist conducted a study to investigate why so many people were getting sick. They discovered that in cultures where these products were not being consumed, diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease did not exist, they dubbed these diseases, "Western Diseases."
I hope your reticular-activating system gets switched on too, and you start seeing refined white flour so you can avoid it. But It's hard to do. Even most whole wheat products contain a fair amount of white flour. Check out the ingredients in the next loaf of bread you buy. Many whole wheat products list
as the first ingredient. In most cases,
means, white flour. Unless it says
whole wheat flour
it probably isn't.
Let me know what you see.