King Arthur Flour, available at Publix here in Florida, is what I call ‘real’ flour. It is not processed and here is the difference.
Bread used to be a main part of most peoples’ diet and is still a staple in most parts of the world. Wheat, ground and sifted into flour contains an amazing combination of nutrients including protein and iron. Real USA flour, like King Arthur, contains approximately 5 grams of protein per 30 grams (32 grams is an ounce), and app. 8% of USDA requirement of Iron. This flour is not processed and it is not ‘enriched’. It meets FDA requirements for being legally called flour in the US.
The typical brand name flours and foods in the US contain processed enriched flour. Often, artificial dough conditioners are required to make them act like real flour. These flours are chemically processed to remove most of the high quality compounds, such as iron, and then to make it legal in the US, cheaper chemicals are added back in. High quality iron is chemically extracted during processing (you can buy expensive multivitamins if you want to get it back) and cheaper iron in the form of ferrous sulfate is artificially added back in.
Enriched flour is essentially a fast-absorbing sugar starch with a minimum of 5 FDA required compounds added back. Fast sugars digest quickly and cause sugar spikes in your body leading to diabetes and other ailments, including hunger long before the next meal, so eat more! For instance, supermarket english muffins with enriched wheat flour contain only 2 grams of protein per 30 grams (label has 4 g per 57 g serving) and only 5% of the cheaper iron added back.
If you think this is a terrible thing, then you need to think a little about the US economy and governmental philosophy. The US is economically an amazingly free country as compared to most other more advanced countries in the world. In Italy, food is made with pride and it is about quality first – but they still have to make a living. Food is expensive, real, without preservatives, and only last a short while. People there have tiny fridges and have to shop every few days. Even prepared packaged foods don’t last and have to be eaten rather soon.
In the US, the food industry is about making money. Total Blueberry and Pomegranate cereal has a picture of Blueberries on the box, but doesn’t contain either. It has artificially flavored blueberry and pomegranate “clusters” made with some cool chemicals and sugar. This is typical of 90% of what you find in a grocery store, especially if it comes in a box or a jar.
To make the most money in the very competitive food market one needs to appeal to the most people. Fortunately, most Americans don’t read labels, don’t want to take the time to prepare food, and base choices solely on what tastes the best. Real food cannot easily compete with the wonders of modern chemistry. How can they do this – understand that if it’s not illegal, it’s not wrong to do. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not willing to learn about what’s going on around you, then you get what you get, and a weak immune system and disease will likely be one of them. Don’t blame the food corporations and the government, it’s up to the people to question and educate themselves.
So, King Arthur Flour makes real food, like Rustic Italian Bread. You can live on this stuff and not get fat. Remember to spread on lots of real butter, for taste of course, and also since the fat slows the absorption of sugar (starch digested) you won’t get blood sugar spikes and you won’t get hungry before the next meal.