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Additivies in Flour

A Rise in Bread-Stuff: Effects of Eating Aerated Bread, a Punch carton December 17, 1860.

Additives in Flour
Theodore R. Hazen

I am from sort of the old-school, I learned the milling business by working in mills from an early age from men who spent their lives working in flour mills.

The one book I suggest you read may have also been suggested by health food retailers. It is a small yellow paperback book that has been around for many years called: "Sugar Blues." You should find a copy of it in a health food store. Sugar Blues talks about the evils of processed foods, everything from white sugar, white flour, mayonnaise, I have to include cigarettes and other stuff.

The problems with additives (preservatives) or processed foods, is that they are made white, refined and keep able. White comes from the idea, if it is white it must be clean. Before the days of grain cleaning machinery in the milling industry could not remove: dirt, seeds, fungus, smut, sticks, straw, chaff, stones, animal dropping and manure. The rich or better class of people people got white flour and white bread. The poor received the brown flour and brown bread. If you read the book: "Bread of Dreams," it talks about such thing as fungus ergot and mid-evil period additive opium in bread. The age old problem is that white flour makes white faces. The peasant class problem was, if starvation did not kill you eating the bread could. Brown bread was also called "dog bread," because it was not fit to feed dogs.

The luddite movement started by a "so-called" insane person (a Leicestershire textile worker) named Nathan Ludd who in 1779 stated a revolt against mechanization and industrialization by destroying mill's machinery. A luddite belief being that new technology and increased industrialization or the introduction of this new technology was evil to persons and workers in these mills. The luddite movement occurred in England, and here in America in New England. To learn more about the Luddites go to: Luddites at:

The Reverend Sylvester Graham believed if technology can be evil, then also the products of this new technology also can be evil. In the end of the 1700's Oliver Evans developed his improvements in the flour milling industry that increased the production of merchant super-fine white flour. Sylvester Graham believed that God meant us to eat grain whole, and that sifting out the bran and other parts of grains was against the will of God. Graham also did some looking into the history of bread production and discovered such things as back in 1421 there were court cases in Europe where bakers were putting chemicals into bread dough to make it absorb as much water as it could possibly absorb. So the bakers were not selling loaves of bread but fancy disguised loaves of water. Graham was big into his ideas also relating to white, refined and keep able food products. His ideas started the grahamite movement which was really the first vegetarian movement, where you don't eat: meat, fish, poultry, drink alcohol, drink only water and sleep with the window open even in the winter. Graham would travel America giving lectures of the subject and evils of refined foods. The large baking companies would stand out side of his hotel protesting is actions, until they realized that he had become so popular, they could go back home and make knock off's of his products and become rich. From Sylvester Graham is where Graham Bread and Graham Crackers come from. Today in stores are sold only bastardized version of his original products.

Sylvester Graham's ideas were embraced by the Shakers and the Seventh Day Adventist. The Shakers, Seventh Day Adventists and the Mormons all began as a reaction to the Luddite movement. The Reverend Sylvester Graham and the Seventh Day Adventists believed that the main cause insanity was the consumption of white flour. Only the rich people went insane and they only had access to white bread. Soldiers when they went to war, ate only white flour, and war was an insane act, so white flour, caffeine, white sugar were something to avoid. The Seventh Day Adventist moved to Battle Creek and built the Western Heath Institute in 1867. The main treatment of the insane was to feed them whole grains and things like oat meal. Sister Mary Ellen White then made Doctor John Harvey Kellogg head the the institute because she thought that he would be the new Messiah of the movement. Dr. Kellogg adopted 42 children and never consummated his marriage because he believed that sex was a drain on society. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg also believed if it tastes good you should not be eating it. If it tastes like crap it must be good for you. Dr. Kellogg invented a number of foods including the corn, wheat, bran flake, various kinds of cereals and a variety of nut butters so people do not have to eat meat sandwiches. That is another story along with the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Let me just say, Dr. Kellogg's brother Will, who was a low level worker in the sanitarium for 40 years, stole his brother's idea for corn flakes, took out all of the good things and made his corn flakes out of corn starch, sugar and malt flavoring. Then Will Kellogg referred to his as the "original." W. Kellogg, and C.W. Post (a former patient at the sanitarium) also made millions selling carp that tastes good. See the movie, "Road to Wellsville," to learn who may have been the biggest flake in Battle Creek. This goes back to the idea of making it white-like, refined and keep able.

In the 1890's white flour became whiter with the process of bleaching. Bleaching does not do anything for the flour. If you ask a commercial miller, he would say it is done for cosmetic reasons. But 99 percent of the time he would not explain what cosmetic reasons were. Bleaching is done to cover up the impurities in the flour. So if there is any impurities in the flour it is all turned super white just like the flour. It cant be rodent dropping, insects, or rodent part it is white just like the flour. Flour is bleached with chorine gas or nitrogen oxide gas. Chorine gas creates dioxide and is a carcinogenic agent. Nitrogen oxide gas has been proven to cause fits in laboratory animals. The milling industry of Minneapolis sold the American public on the goodness of white flour and the baking industry sold us on the goodness of white bread. One of the countries (Sweden I think) we helped in the American air lift after World War 2, we shipped them tons of white bread and it made them sick and worse. Their systems were not used to eating this junk.

The next change that came to the milling industry after the change from millstones to roller mills, was that in 1941 the Food and Drug Administration discovered that there was not nutritional value in white flour. So they passed the enrichment laws and forced states to enforce them. The industrial soap box would tell you it was to improve the health of the nation. Since the enrichment of flour you don't see any rickets any more! What is enrichment and why was it needed? In the milling and sifting process they remove 12 natural nutrients from the flour and enrichment is adding three artificial chemicals to flour.

Some people also say leavening agents and maturing agents aren't good for you. Also bromide flour, self-rising flour because of the agent added to it. Then it gets into millstone ground verses roller milled flour with the speed, heath, pressure and sifting process. the now evil flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate is made from wheat. If bugs won't eat it maybe we should not, bugs are not stupid. A friend of mine worked in a large commercial mill in Buffalo, New York. I worked in a small mill in Pennsylvania and we had rats and mice. I asked him what they did to control their rodent populations. They being larger would have more rats and mice. He said they did nothing, just let them eat all of the white flour they wanted. The rodents would die of malnutrition eating the white flour. They would find them death with their stomachs bloated and throw them out.

Some adulterations in the bread industry is adding raisin syrup and caramel color to darken white bread to make it appear as whole wheat. The best text is to squeeze it, if it feel like marshmallow bread then it is white bread in disguise. The bread industry has taken it upon themselves to quietly rewrite the bread standards for us. Now entire or whole wheat means that it started in the milling process as whole entire wheat kernels and the bread maker used 2 percent of the original wheat kernels they label it as whole wheat. Whole wheat to them refers to the milling process not what is in the bread. For years they from time to time ad wood pulp to bread calling it by a meaningless term alpha Cellulose. White flour makes white bread and white faces. For years we know it build up more plaque on teeth and they have been keeping us from knowing more junk on the walls of our arteries.

The one of the real X-Files is that "The fate of old mills has been in the hands of a project by the National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta." Their premise is that many of the ills and diseases at effect Americans are caused by problems associated with old mills. The end result of their study may be to close old mills forever. They want us to all eat food treated and processed with chlorine and formaldehyde. "The basic idea is that anything that is made of wood and grinds with stone can never be free of filth and vermin." The first stage of this program has been completed, there are no operating grist mills on Federal lands. The second stage is to close grist mills on state, county and foundation property. Stage three will be the final end to grist mill close all small and private grist mill that is some cases have been operated for generations by the same family.

One of the reasons that centuries ago people got away from brown flour (besides millers did not have any way to clean grain) is dishonest millers would adulterate brown flour with saw dust. Then it was too expensive to adulterate the white flour with something else. Today white flour has become adulterated and we must get away from that. If you are what you eat and if you eat crap, you feel like crap, act like crap and become crap.

There is a saying that goes:

"The lighter the loaf, the faster you go.
The whiter the bread the sooner your dead."

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Copyright 1996 by T. R. Hazen