Whole Grain Connection

Local and sustainable whole grains from farmer to baker, for good health
 
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The Whole Grain Connection

Welcome to the Whole Grain Connection.
We are a non-profit organization based in California, aiming to enhance the desirability and availability of whole grain breads and other whole grain products from organically and sustainably grown grains and thereby connecting farmers and bakers.
 
We hope you will visit our website often for our latest website publications and activities. 
 
Contact information:
Attn: Monica Spiller
Whole Grain Connection
500 West Middlefield Road #2
Mountain View
California 94043
 
e-mail: barmbaker@aol.com
 
Telephone: 650 938 2865
 
www.sustainablegrains.org
www.wholegrainconnection.org

What is whole grain?
Whole grain wheat is the same as wheat seed. If it is a genuine unbroken wheat seed you can soak it and sprout it. The end of the seed that produces the sprout is the germ. The thin, colored seed skin is the bran, which is tasty, edible and a necessary part of food; it is fiber and it carries other foods all the way through the digestive system without being itself digested. The middle endosperm of the wheat seed or grain is filled with starch and protein which is the store of food for the new wheat sprout. The growing plant can only use this food store if the vitamins, minerals and other plant nutrients are provided by the bran and germ. Similarly, people can only use the starch and protein from wheat properly if they also eat the germ and bran at the same time, since these supply the needed nutrient helpers for proper digestion and use for growth and energy.

Whole grain Sonora wheat photo

New in January 2015

An apology: Articles may only partially download on iPads and iPhones. To read the full length article please e-mail the article to yourself, and then it should open completely. The articles should download completely on your computer.

Grain Cleaning & Handling. We are moving ever closer towards localized grain cleaning and handling. Lately there has been increased progress all over California. Questions arise often regarding grain cleaning equipment. The USDA Bulletin number 354 is a useful reference for farmers and whole grain millers interested in understanding the variety of cleaning equipment available and deciding which will be the most important to include in their planning. The pdf of USDA Bulletin 354 can be downloaded from the "Catalog and References" page on this website. 

Whole Grain, versus refined or sifted wheat flours. Lately I've met a variety of people who think that sifted whole grain flour is still whole grain flour. I'm sorry to tell you that when whole grain flour is sifted, it is the bran and germ that are mostly removed, and this makes sifted flour nutritionally deficient, just as refined flour is nutritionally deficient.
Here's a late breaking study on the benefits of truly whole grain foods.


 

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/more-whole-grains-linked-with-lower-mortality-risk/

Logo

Whole Grain Connection has been marketing organic whole grain products for farmers, using a "tm" designation for our "certification mark". We have added a "Grown & made in California" logo to this certification mark. Products are now being sold with this new mark, which you'll recognize by the California poppy art and the font. The beautiful California poppy artwork is by Margo Bors, an artist from San Francisco.

We can approve products for the use of this logo and prepare label designs for other farmers selling their organic whole grains. Please contact us for further information.

Phytic acid

Phytic acid is an important factor in whole grain foods, because it binds with nutritionally valuable minerals in the grain, and reduces their usefulness. Fortunately the enzyme phytase is also present in wheat and this will break down the phytic acid quite rapidly if the conditions are optimized.

Phytic acid and whole wheat flour - a discussion

Spelt and Emmer

We have continued to work with landrace spelt and emmer varieties suited to the Coastal and Sierra Foothill regions of California. 

Letter to spelt and emmer growers May 2013

From our archives
We've been in the news. 

Mountain View Voice. January 27, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle. January 3, 2012

 

For the Farmers:

Knowledge of the fungal diseases that attack grains leads to good organic prevention practices.

Click on the link below to read about Preventing Fungal Disease on Wheat, written by Monica Spiller in 2009. This was an exercise in understanding the problems from the viewpoint of the organic farmer. As with all our work at the Whole Grain Connection, this is an ongoing project, always waiting to be updated or corrected. The information was gleaned from many on-line sources and in particular from Integrated Pest Management for Small Grains, Publication 3333 of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Preventing Fungal Disease on Wheat