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Wheat Matters!

October 23, 2008

Wheat, originally uploaded by Siebe.

J. and I are trying to cut back costs, use more generic products and buy in bulk however there are some products we believe that are worth spending more on. One of those is flour. We eat ALOT of wheat in bread, baked goods and pastas so we want to make sure it’s good not just in taste but in philosophy. I can’t remember who turned us on to King Arthur flour but we are hooked. They have all different kinds including organic and you can find at least some of their products in just about any grocery store. For awhile we got all our flours in bulk bins but now we can’t find a decent natural foods store to match the bulk bin aisle that we had at the Whole Foods in Colorado Springs (we never knew how lucky we were!). We are back to buying prepackaged flours which means King Arthur it is except this time around we are paying much more attention to their business practices. According to the bag it is milled form 100% US grown wheat, since we aren’t eating local wheat it’s nice to know its still “home grown” but then how much of the flour in our supermarkets is really coming from another country? I tried to find out more information about the farms the wheat is grown on but there isn’t really any easily accessible information online.

Instead I found information about the type of wheat they use. In case you were wondering they use the “highest grade of hard wheat” which will in turn affect the texture, volume and taste of your wheat products. I would agree with this statement and its why we continued to use their flour. What I didn’t know is that hard wheat has more protein then soft wheat so it performs better with yeast and stays fresher longer. I don’t know about staying fresher longer. I’ve never noticed a fresher taste or that the bread lasted longer.

Another thing I learned was that their flour is never bromated. Honestly I didn’t know what bromate was (I knew to avoid bleached flour but that was it) or that one could use it as a verb 🙂 Apparently, potassium bromate is used to strengthen some flours. It’s also a suspected carcinogen that is banned from foods in Europe, Japan and Canada. In California products containing potassium bromate must bear a warning label. You know I’ve haven’t been to California since I was a kid but it seems like just about everything there must have some sort of warning label…

We used this flour based on taste and performance but it’s nice to know that after doing a little investigative work it seems like the company operates under some pretty green principles. What products are you willing to spend more on? Have you noticed yourself paying more attention to the companies that you are buying products from?

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 23, 2008 8:18 am

    I spend more on local raw milk, eggs, cheese and pastured beef. We simply eat less meat and since we’ve been buying all of our produce locally this summer/fall and canning it we should be sitting pretty for the winter.

    We found a source for local wheat (BIL’s cousin). So now we have a bucket of local wheat berries that we grind ourselves for bread. I do however still buy some ground flour. I’ve always wanted to buy King Arthur, not sure how easy it is to find around here. I’ll have to look into it.

    We’ve been finding ourselves trying to buy from companies that practice good business. That’s why we buy Dr Bronner’s soaps!

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