Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If your flour comes from a windmill is it still an unhealthy processed food?

How cool are windmills though?

Apparently the history of windmills goes all the way back to sometime around AD 650 or so. They use 'em to mill grain, if you didn't know. Grind grain up between massive stones to make flour, which you could then make bread out of.

I've been noticing so much vilification of "processed grains" and their presence in the healthy eating guidelines. Since apparently being "processed" means all the nutritional value is removed.

Before modern times, we had been processing grains in windmills and waterwheels for hundreds of years, and grinding them by hand for thousands before that. In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that it was the development of grain agriculture that enabled civilisation as we know it. For that matter... if you've ever played the computer game "Civilisation" you'll know that building a granary was one of the first crucial achievements you needed to make, for the survival of your people.

Of course... something being in a computer game doesn't make it a fact, by any stretch of the imagination. Let's see what wikipedia says on the subject though:

Because grains are small, hard and dry, they can be stored, measured, and transported more readily than can other kinds of food crops such as fresh fruits, roots and tubers. The development of grain agriculture allowed excess food to be produced and stored easily which could have led to the creation of the first permanent settlements and the division of society into classes.
That's good enough for me.

Suddenly though, grains and processed grains in particular are supposed to be horrendously unhealthy for us. The claims that "historically" our ancestors would not have had a carbohydrate rich diet that included grains have long been debunked... depending on your ancestry of course. People do like to remind me of the Inuit people, for example.

So, I can only deduce that it must be something to do with modern, electric powered machinery in the process of turning grain into flour that must make it unhealthy. Since it was fine when the processing was wind or river powered.

It doesn't really make any sense though, does it? hmm.