I have had no mill for over a week now. I normally mill my own flour and make bread on a weekly basis, but now for going on two weeks we've been without bread. I started milling grains almost a decade ago. Why would I do this you wonder? Well, whole grains are much more nutritious than flour stripped of all it's goodness (and left only with the starch) then having only a few vitamins added back to avoid the diseases eating this way causes. Monday a dear friend sent us a loaf of her homemade whole grain soaked bread (I'll have to blog about soaking bread later) and it's almost gone. We've been rationing it. We purchased some bread from the grocery store and it's not going to be a healthy alternative for the long term. We live in the middle of nowhere and it's not easy to find whole foods locally. We have a small garden (in need of weeding) and we hope to have some good crops this year, but none of that is bread.
Here is what I know about whole grain: There are three parts to the grain (which is a seed). Imagine this all like the parts of an egg. There's the bran which is the outer coating (like the egg shell). It contains fiber, B-complex vitamins, phytonutrients and trace minerals. Then there's the germ which contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E, more of the B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. In the egg illustration this would be the yolk. Finally, there's the endosperm. It contains complex carbohydrates, B-complex vitamins, and proteins. It would be like the white of the egg. So, what is the difference between plain white flour and freshly ground whole wheat flour? White flour is made only from the endosperm. Oxidation and superheated in the milling process which actually denatures the protein as well as the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Not all mills heat to destruction of these things. Home mills usually don't get hot enough nor are they running long enough to get that hot. After milling, the three parts are separated with the germ and bran being sold as additives for bread rather than a part of real bread. The endosperm is the starch we all hear makes us fat. It's considered "fortified" by the USDA because iron, some B-vitamins and sometimes calcium is added back to it to keep the consumers from getting diseases such as beriberi. Endosperm alone, devoid of vitamin E and other things that oxidize are able to be shipped and stored for much longer than ground wheat with the rancid oils.
I also know that God made grain for our good. I also know that He made it good (Genesis). When the famine came to the fertile crescent (Genesis 41-48) and everyone had to come to Egypt, to Joseph to buy grain stored up for this purpose. It had been stored for seven years! Then there was seven years of famine, so altogether there was fourteen years that some of this grain was stored and was still full of nutrients! Also, when Joseph's brothers were to come the second time for grain, along with Benjamin,
" And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spice, and myrrh, nuts and almonds.... (Genesis 43:11).”
There seemed to be *some* food in the land, but no grain with which to make bread. Later when the Egyptians had no money with which to purchase grain they sold their livestock (Gen. 47: 16-18). Obviously, God has made bread very important to mankind. In the New Testament, the Messiah compares Himself to bread (John 6: 33,35,48, and 51). Clearly bread isn't devoid of nutrients. It's complete nutrition! The Lord isn't comparing himself to something that can cause sickness. Rather, he is the sustainer of life! All this of course has spiritual connotations, but I believe it to have physical ones as well. We are much better off in life to have the best that our Creator Father made for us, His creation.
I miss my mill. I pray the Lord restores it soon. In the mean time, we shall purchase better bread from dear friends. We should all realize how blessed we are to have a Father who made wonderful things for us, for our own good.