copyright 2013 Bettina Network, inc. for Marceline Donaldson
Many years ago I worked for The Pillsbury Company – for a brief time – with a long following law suit – which is the stuff of legend around my neighborhood. I offer that fact to you in the interest of full disclosure.
One, of the many things that upset me, happened when I was moved to International Marketing with one of my responsibilities being over the Silos. It wasn’t something I actually did, it was an old hangover from another time, but the job description was never amended.
In the process of this tenure, I received a telephone call from the real manager of the Silos, the one who had been at Pillsbury for many years and who did the day to day managing of the Silos. He informed me there was an infestation of bugs in the Silos and asked what he should do about it.
My immediate response was – throw out the flour in the Silos – you can’t sell flour to people which is or has been full of bugs.
He thanked me and hung-up.
Shortly thereafter my boss came along and said “Marceline, we can’t throw out the flour. He wasn’t calling to actually get input from you on what to do, he has been doing this job for many years and knew what to do. With your new job description he needs your signature and go ahead to proceed.”
Well, what did that mean!
It means his procedure, set up by who knows, was to spray the flour in the Silos with pesticides to kill the bugs.
Being confused, I asked my boss how did they get the pesticides out of the flour and how did they make the flour clean again from bug feces, etc.
He told me they didn’t. The FDA said the pesticides were not enough to negatively affect human health and by the time the flour was packaged and reached the grocery store shelves no one ever questioned what those little black specs were or where they came from.
Being really mind blown, I checked around the industry and discovered that was common practice and why did I have a problem with it? It was normal – everybody did it – and given that fact, they wouldn’t do such if it was problematical or would cause the public health problems.
Well, I didn’t sign off on it – the job description was finally adjusted and we all settled down to a very uncomfortable co-existence.
From that time onward, whenever I go to the store for flour I buy organic whole wheat or organic some other kind of flour whichever has minimum processing of the flour. That has been my practice since that time in early 1970. And given the fact that I bake quite a bit, it is possible to make extremely delicious breads, cakes, etc. using only organic whole wheat flour. All those recipes and comments from Chefs which say you have to add White Flour or your baking won’t come out right are a lot of baloney. Most recipes, which call for White overly processed flour translate on a one to one basis – they were probably translated from the organic whole wheat lightly milled flour to what we have today. – who said “Without a knowledge of history, we are really seriously handicapped in the way we live.”
We have had several people for breakfast lately who’ve said they don’t eat wheat because their doctor said they were ‘sensitive’. They didn’t have celiac disease – full blown- according to them, but their ‘sensitivity’ to wheat made them – on their doctors’ advice – eliminate wheat from their diet.
It has occurred to me to question if they are ‘sensitive’ to wheat or if they are ‘sensitive’ to and/or ‘allergic’ to the chemicals used to debug the flour.
I’ve raised the issue, but this pesticide treatment of flour has been a closely guarded secret of the flour processing companies for decades.
There was not this ‘sensitivity’ to flour when I was growing up. Its only recent that we are running into people who refuse to eat wheat because of it.
Since their doctors have no idea what’s in the wheat – they, I am sure, as well as everybody else have no clue as to this treatment of wheat. So, why would they test their patients for a sensitivity to the pesticides sprayed on the wheat before it is packed and shipped. Why would they look at whether their patients are allergic to the bugs and bug droppings in the wheat when they don’t know that such exists.
It really should be investigate to determine its real affect on humans and investigated by scientists other than those related to the flour industry.
This is one of many stories I have about what happens to our flour. We all need to be vigilant and on our toes about the food we eat, especially the food which has been processed. The FDA doesn’t seem to have done such a great job. But then, maybe I am confused as to whose interest they are protecting!
If you’ve stayed in our home you know some of the other stories about the wheat and the FDA – especially the strawberry story. I won’t bore you with repeating them.
Good eating!!! And stay responsible for your health and therefore your diet. What you eat determines who you are and your present and future health. Exercise is fine, but it is only about 10 percent of the equation – and – is it so highly touted to be the red herring to throw you off looking at the real problems.
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