Why ancient wheats?
There was a time when, crossing the country, the taste of the bread would change daily with the local varieties of stone ground wheat. For 10,000 years wheat had nourished civilisation. Then the advent of the roller mill meant the switch from flour in which the whole grain is blended, to the industrial production of pure, refined white flour in which the bran and kernel are removed altogether. Bleached and chemically treated, this new type of flour kept almost indefinitely and pest problems were eliminated because it was so stripped of nutrition, pests didn’t want it.
Added to that was the transformation of the worlds’ wheat crop in the 1950’s. The “Green Revolution” pioneered new species of dwarf wheat which when grown with complimenting fertilisers and pesticides increased yield spectacularly. But we now know that this small, distant relative of wheat isn’t really wheat at all. It’s a synthetic ball of pure gluten.
It was inevitable that bread started to make us ill rather than sustain us. How many people now say they need to go gluten-free? But a lot of gluten free is junk food. Check the ingredients and you’ll probably see some combination of rice starch, cornstarch, potato starch and guar gum as a substitute for white flour. These are highly refined industrial starches.
Stone ground ancient wheats offer an alternative. They’re naturally low in gluten, nutritionally rich and delicious. This is the daily bread of which our ancestors spoke. They are grown in ‘populations’ containing many varieties which naturally adapt to the area over time and which bring great depth of flavour to the bread. We’re constantly finding and multiplying new varieties that can add interesting new elements to our blend.