White Flour — Talk About Toxic!

Imagine a food that is natural, wholesome and nutritious. Imagine the protein, vitamins and minerals that surge through your body when you eat this nourishing entity. Now imagine processing and bleaching this food, stripping out all of its nutrients, and leaving in its place an artificial product that is a scrap of what it was before. Ladies and gentlemen, I refer to the changing, or destruction, rather, of whole grains into refined ones. You already know about the inferiority of the latter to the former, but after reading about this horrifying destruction process, you will never again be tempted to allow the entrance of this foodstuff into your body.

Whole grain wheat seeds are first sprayed with fungicide and pesticides. Using high-temperature rollers, manufacturers remove the bran, the six outer layers, and the germ (or embryo), which contains 76% of the original vitamins and minerals and 97% of the fiber. Lack of fiber inhibits the intestine’s production of waste, which causes colon cancer, Chron’s disease and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Through this process, the wheat loses half of its unsaturated fatty acids, 50% of its calcium, 70% of its iron, 98% of its magnesium, up to 80% of its B vitamins, and nearly all its vitamin E. The wheat is then placed in kilns, which kills even more nutrients.

You would think that the wheat seed would be virtually nonexistent by now, but the endosperm, made up only of starch, remains – and of course, it is then bleached with the preservative chlorine dioxide. Chlorine gas is dangerous to inhale– it produces alloxan, which causes diabetes and destroys insulin-producing beta cells, and can even be lethal. The endosperm is sometimes also treated with nitrogen oxides, nitrosyl, benzyl peroxide, acetone peroxides, potassium bromate (a carcinogen), or chemical salts. The pancreas, unequipped to ingest large amounts of chemicals, is strained, prohibiting the body from adequately fighting disease.

As if all this isn’t enough, the product is then loaded with chalk, alum and ammonium carbonate to increase softness and whiteness, because for some reason, food manufacturers decided that nobody would buy their products unless they resembled snow. Gluten, a protein that more and more people are becoming allergic to, is added to produce a more airy loaf. Sugar and salt are dumped on for flavor. To top it all off, sorbitan mono-saturate is caked on to prevent salting. At this point, so little remains of the actual wheat seed that as a grand finale, synthetic nutrients must be added back in to re-substantiate it.

How do our bodies respond to this unnatural creation? The high glycemic index carbohydrate load from the starch causes sugar to be released into the bloodstream. This rapid rise in blood sugar stimulates insulin, which increases appetite. Cells soon begin to reject these high levels of insulin, so the glucose is channeled and stored in fat cells instead, leading to weight gain. The crash in blood sugar leads to hypoglycemia, which causes symptoms such as headache, fatigue and shakiness. It also leads to raised levels of LDL cholesterol, which causes artery narrowing, high blood pressure, thrombosis (blood clots), and heart disease.

We are most familiar with white flour in the form of cereal, crackers, protein bars, chips, couscous, bread, rice, pasta, and baked goods, including cakes, cookies, croissants, and doughnuts–in other words, the staples of the American diet. If the flour description on an ingredients label contains the words “white,” “enriched,” or “unbleached,” drop the food and run in the other direction. Do your blood, heart, and waistline a favor, and only eat flours that are 100% whole grain wheat.

Sarah Rodeo
Age 15, Grade 11
The Hewitt School
Gold Key

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