Kitchen Exploration:
Healthy Whole Grains

Even though for over two decades nutritional advisors have been talking about the benefits of whole grains, it’s an idea that hasn’t made it to mainstream restaurants and dinner tables. Whole grain flour, including whole wheat flour, has more nutritional value than grains that have the bran (outer layer) removed before being ground into flour. The bran has vitamins and minerals that give flavor to food.

Most people are used to eating white grain products (white rice, white bread, white pasta). There are two main reasons. First is that grains with bran have a shorter shelf life because of the small amount of oils in the bran, so when industrial production of food first became common, it was more economical.

Second, in ancient times, whiter more finely ground flour was more time consuming to produce and so it was eaten by royalty or the wealthy. It was considered prestigious. However, it’s not helping us at this point. White highly refined grain products are similar to sugar in that they are digested very quickly, so they cause a quicker blood sugar increase. This can contribute to weight gain and even diabetes. When flour is labeled “enriched wheat flour” it means that it’s white flour. The enrichment means adding back in some of the nutritional value that was taken out when removing the bran. Some products even have added brown food coloring to make white flour products look healthier.

This information can be verified at: 

Check back in the coming weeks for tips on how to make sure you get more whole grains and fewer highly processed grains, especially when not eating at home! 

Maya is a 14-year-old who moved to OUR on the first of July. Prior to that she and her mom had visited and volunteered regularly for 7 months until social distancing took effect. Most of all she loves the animals. Her chores include gathering and washing eggs for half the week, and she helps out with many other tasks like picking berries and helping in the kitchen. She feels like she is learning a lot and enjoys being community. She loves reading, drawing, writing, and learning languages, and she attended Kelsey High School and loved her teachers there. She has had to stop judo practice because of the pandemic, but thankfully she has been able to continue her horse riding lessons which she really enjoys.

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Land acknowledgment

OUR ECOVILLAGE is situated on unceded Indigenous lands. The Coast Salish Peoples are the guardians of these lands and waters where we live, work, pray, and play. Quw’utsun (Cowichan) is a historical place of gathering and Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun/”one-heart one-mind” for many Indigenous peoples.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is committed to regenerate land and all ecosystems while acknowledging and respecting Indigenous knowledge that ensures thriving for all beings; we call this Permaculture.

OUR ECOVILLAGE is dedicated to continuously educating ourselves and our communities about the history and peoples of OUR bio-region, to assist in decolonization and re-villaging as a path towards peacemaking, from local to global.