Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Monday, January 12, 2015

Whole Wheat Bread

When I was in my early twenties, a year or so after my US Air Force discharge, I was living in the town of Bath, Maine, home of Bath Iron Works who at that time were building container cargo ships and refitting battleships for the Navy. I worked as a stage-builder, a lowly job but nevertheless union. The work was hard, lots of heavy lifting and risk taking and working in the cold, but it was a good job. I enjoyed it even if I didn't keep it very long.
While I lived in Bath I began taking interest in "health food" back before that term was in wide circulation. I remember soon after this period talking with my "fundamentalist" Christian niece about my new food interest and when I said "health food" she looked at me, tipped her head, and asked, "Hell food?" No not hell, health. I'm not as bad a sinner as you assume, dear, at least not when it comes to wanting healthy food.
I began grocery shopping in a health foods store in Brunswick located just off the end of the main runway of the Brunswick Naval Air Station. Deep in my memory I can still recall how out of my element I felt the first few times I shopped in that store.
During that winter, the winter of '72-'73, I learned to make whole wheat bread. I derived the recipe from Adele Davis. I used organic whole wheat bread flower and eventually settled on honey for the sugar needed by the yeast. This bread became the mainstay of my diet. Every day I would have some for breakfast and pack a single sandwich for lunch.
Since then I have from time to time rekindled my interest in this bread, always staying close to this same simple recipe and every time I have done this I have felt a surge of good health. For me, I don't think there is any food I have ever found that is healthier than real home-baked 100% whole wheat bread.
But there's gluten even in 100% whole wheat!
A few years ago I finally gave in to the Wheat Belly concept - gluten paranoia. Almost immediately I started losing weight but eventually I became convinced that this new diet would be the end of me. I was born and raised on wheat! All my muscles were made from it! And my muscles were vanishing into thin air on this gluten-free diet!
So now I'm back on wheat and loving it. Gluten is protein. So is meat for the most part. It makes more sense to me now to limit my meat consumption and resume eating health-giving whole wheat. At least that's how I rationalize it now. When I ended my gluten ban I kept on eating meat and nearly died from the over-consumption of protein. I still eat meat but drastically limit my consumption of it.
A few weeks ago it came to my attention that there is a new boogie man when it comes to eating wheat. It seems that Monsanto is encouraging wheat farmers to apply Roundup to wheat fields just prior to harvest. Snopes appears to refute this claim, or at least it did when I was researching it. However, Roundup has this Canadian pdf web page...
Until that pdf gets altered there seems little doubt that ingredients in Roundup could well be in some of the wheat we eat. One web page I read suggested that in a test run in England something like 66% of breads tested had those ingredients in it. Who am I to doubt?
So where do we go from there, Mr. "whole wheat bread" man?
You tell me...