Thursday, October 1, 2009

Can You Say Little House on the Prairie?

Meet my mill. We call her Ingalls.When it's time to mill I get Ingalls out and sit her on my counter, pour the wheat kernels in the top, turn her on, (she sounds like a jet engine by the way), and she mills my wheat into flour. I pull out the bowl at the bottom, tighten my bonnet, and bake away! See how easy it is! No heavy duty industrial equipment in my backyard, just a little appliance that fits on my counter.                                               
Why don't I just bake my breads with the flour that I can buy at my friendly Walmart you ask? Why go to all this trouble for a little flour? Well, I have a very good friend who does this and she gave me a little education about wheat. I will do my best to explain to you my bloggy friends what I'm learning, but please know I'm a newby and not an expert on this, and I'm pretty much going to just plagiarize from Sue Becker of Bread Beckers Inc. You can go to their website for more detailed information, and if this interest you I highly recommend it.Click on the site, and then click on articles to read up on more of this information.

The nutrition that is inside a tiny kernel of wheat is unbelievable, but once it is broken open, as in milling, the oxidation(looses it's freshness because of exposure to air) process begins. After 72 hours about 90% of over 30 nutrients are gone. In the 1920's new technology allowed enterprising millers to separate the components in the wheat. They removed the germ, germ oil, and the bran, and the remaining white flour could be stored for as long as needed. They were selling the bran and wheat germ as high protein food supplements  for cattle. Shortly, diseases like beriberi and pellagra drastically increased, and they traced this to vitamin B deficiencies, which was a result of the white flour. Apparently, health officials urged mills to return to producing whole wheat flour again, but they didn't want to loose their money making business of selling the bran and germ as cattle feed. Instead, they replaced 4 vitamins for the 25-30 that were being removed. This solved the issue of beriberi and pellagra, but we now have many diseases that are associated with our consumption of white flour(appendicitis, diverticular disease, hiatal hernia, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more).

Vitamin E is a significant vitamin to our bodies. The richest source of vitamin E is found in the germ of the wheat kernel. When wheat is milled into flour the vitamin E is very quickly oxidized, so in order to obtain the vitamin E we must eat the kernel whole or use freshly milled flour. I was shocked at how our bodies use vitamin E, and I will try to explain it as I understand it, but remember I'm not the expert so I encourage going to the Bread Becker website. Vitamin E prevents fatty acids and fat-like substances(vitamin A, carotene, pituitary, sex, and adrenal hormones) from being destroyed within the body by oxygen. These fatty acids make up and form the internal structure and wall of every cell in our body, and the connective tissue between every cell in the body. Vitamin E prevents their breakdown and the disintegration of the cell. Since these cells make up every part of our body(organs, skin, blood, hair, and blood vessels), we can only be as healthy as our cells. Much of the foods that naturally contain vitamin E are now being so refined that this nutrient is being destroyed and therefore, we are so under-supplied.

 Some of you like me have so many responsibilities you may be wondering when do I find the time. Well, we got our mill and bucket of wheat two years ago in December, and I just started milling. Yeah, I know, but I just felt like when will I add one more thing. I read Sue Becker's Do Not Eat the Bread of Idleness article. If milling interest you at all I recommend going  to their website and reading this article. Proverbs 31:27 says that the Proverbs 31 woman watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Idleness simply means meaningless, senseless, or doing nothing. Truth be told, my life feels far from idle, but is some of our running and busyness not what God is asking us to be apart of ? Even if I'm a part of a lot of meaningful activity, if it's not the activity God wants me involved in, well, then it's senseless. Am I constantly asking myself and praying about this family of eights activities? I decided that for me the spiritual health of my family is extremely important, but I feel our physical health is connected to this. I want to pour into my family's overall health and that is why I am making the time to mill our wheat.

I do feel the need to disclose a few more facts. Although, I do love health, we don't always eat healthy. We treat ourselves in moderation, sometimes way more than moderation. If we come to your house and you've used white flour we will most certainly eat it :)! I know that everyone is not going to read this and feel a conviction as I did to start milling, and remember I had my mill, bread, and mixer for almost two years. We can only be where we are, and I would say our greatest work is to just let the Lord lead us from there, step by step.



Lorren Says... said...

This is so interesting! I'd like to do this one day, too.

Dena said...

I made some butter over the summer from milk right from a cow in Conway. I LOVED my butter. My husband, however, really thinks he likes that Kroger milk better. Dr. B and I had a really great discussion about raw milk.

Shannonigans said...

I would definitely like to be doing this. If I could just figure out how to get the mill. I am quite sure I would follow you and it would take 2 years. I guess better sometime than never! Truly....when the time works out it will be one of my first kitchen purchases. Thanks for made it seem like the everyday woman can do it! I really did think it was more complicated than that!

mhutsell said...

Thanks Star. this definitely has me thinking. I love getting new info like this that opens up my world to something I never knew I was missing. Keith and I discussed this tonight. Perhaps in the near future we can afford a mill and the supplies to get started! ~M

Robin said...

I would like to know what bread recipes you use. I would want to make sure I could commit to making bread before I went off and started grinding my own wheat. Got a good recipe that's easy that you really like?

Lea said...

Actually, after a longtime health issue I was introduced to The Maker's Diet. I have followed it faithfully since the end of July. I have only eaten Ezekiel bread. The book also talks about the grains being sprouted first to release the most nutrients. I found an Ezekiel bread receipe online and wanted to make it but of course I need a mill. Which one do you have, where did you get it and will I have to shell out a ton of money?

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I have listened to you and Hans' story online at, and I want to tell both of you that nothing shines from it but beauty and power: the beauty of your life story, and the power of the God who made this story possible. Simply beautiful and powerful. And I love your family picture.

I am a Woman of God said...

Very interesting
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