1) Millers Make More Money
Wheat grain is milled into 3 products — tripling profits:
- White Flour
You eat the white flour. For extra money you can buy the bran and germ that were stolen.
The bran and germ mostly go into animal feed. Your pets may be eating better than you are!
2) Shelf Life
After wheat is milled, the fatty acids in flour go rancid in 6 to 9 months. This wasn’t a problem in the 19th century, since most towns had a grain mill (there were tens of thousands of mills in the United States). In 1870, a way to separate the endosperm was invented, and it wasn’t long before mills consolidated into just a few hundred huge mills that distribute white flour across the nation today.
Grocers also like the long shelf life of white flour, because it can sit on shelves for years before spoiling, not just because the oils are gone, but because up to 30 chemicals are added after milling wheat, and several of them are added to prolong shelf life.
Since Roman times, sifted white flour bread has been regarded as the food of the upper classes. Though until 1870, this “white” flour was still healthy – a far cry from white flour today.