One of Edgar Cayce's consistent recommendations in his psychic health readings were whole grains, as whole wheat bread, rye bread, oatmeal, etc.
The world has changed in many ways since Edgar Cayce gave his last readings in 1944. One important difference between modern breads and the breads available when Cayce was active is that modern grains are rather different than the grains that were farmed before the "green revolution" of the 1950's-1970's.
I started on a blog post Saturday afternoon about whole wheat bread. Then I got distracted by searching about the history of fortification. When did the food industry start fortifying everything? An answer was found at this link, on the history of fortification: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK208880/ (Army recruits in 1941 weren't in the best of health, so the government and industry decided to add thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and iron to make 'fortified flour'. Later they added folic acid to the standard fortifications.)
By the 1950's Wonder Bread was fully fortified with 8 essential nutrients. The joke is they're only putting back some of what was originally taken out when the wheat was refined into white flour. Did Cayce ever give a reading about fortified bread? Hmm, professor google?
Oh look, hah, that's my blog post. What did I say? https://radialappliance.teslabox.com/2017/11/whole-wheat-bread/
It's still a good post. I remember that conversation. As I said in November 2017, one of the benefits of whole wheat flour is how whole wheat fiber feeds bacteria that make "short chain fatty acids" for us.
I was thinking about making a video about how I stick to European cookies, because at least the European cookie factories don't use flour fortified with iron, but then Michael Pollan's book Cooked was given to me. I opened to a random page, read a few lines... "not interested." Flipped a few chapters deeper into the book, and learned about the history of wheat.
Mr. Pollan says, essentially, that humans have been trying to make whiter bread for as long as we've been making bread, for a variety of reasons. But we didn't get really good at making white flour until the mid 1800's, when the roller mill was invented:
The advent of roller milling in the middle of the nineteenth century made white flour cheap, stable, and whiter than it had ever been. For a revolutionary technology, roller milling seems almost obvious, and benign. The new mills replaced the old millstones with a sequence of steel or porcelain drums arranged in pairs, each subsequent pair calibrated to have a narrower space between them than the previous set, in order to grind the flour ever more finely. To begin, the seed is dropped between a pair of corrugated drums rotating in opposite directions. During the "first break," the bran and germ are sheared from the endosperm. Those parts are sifted out before the now naked endosperm moves on to the next pair of slightly more closely spaced rollers, and so on, until the starch (or "farina") has been pulverized to the desired degree of fineness.
The new technology was greeted as a boon to humankind, and so at first it seemed. Bread became whiter and airier and cheaper than ever. Commercial yeast performed particularly well with the new flour, vastly speeding and simplifying the work of baking. The shelf life of lour, now that the unstable embryo had been eliminated, became indefinite, allowing the milling industry to consolidate. Thousands of local stone mills closed, since big industrial operations could now supply whole nations. Cheap, stable, transportable white flour made it possible to export flour around the world and to feed swelling urban populations during the industrial revolution. [...]
But because hard wheat has tougher, bitterer bran, it made whole-grain flour even coarser and bitterer than it had been before -- one of several ways that the triumph of white flour made whole wheat less good. Even today, breeders continue to select for ever-harder wheats with ever-whiter -- and therefore less nutritious -- endosperms. As Steven Jones, the former wheat breeder for the State of Washington, told me, "Wheat breeders are selecting against health."
Ah yes, health. Here was the fly in the ointment. The compelling industrial logic of white flour meshed beautifully with everything except human biology. Not long after roller mills became widespread in the 1880's, alarming rates of nutritional deficiency and chronic disease began cropping up in populations that relied on the new white flour. Around the turn of the century, a group of French and British doctors and medical experts began searching for the causes of what they dubbed "the Western diseases" (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several disorders of the digestive tract, including cancer), so called because they were virtually unheard of in places where people hadn't switched to modern diets containing large amounts of refined sugar and white flour.
My European cookies, while at least not fortified with iron, are still made with industrially-produced refined wheat, without any of the benefit of whole grains. "Organic Wheat Flour" is still refined wheat, where most of the nutrients are removed. (The problem with iron fortification is the body can't get rid of excess iron, and is very efficient at keeping/absorbing iron when supplies are low. Sometimes people are told they're iron deficient and should take supplements, but true iron deficiency is probably much less common than our doctors think.)
Something else to watch out for: "Quick breads" are made with baking soda/powder rather than yeast. Wikipedia says, "Quick breads include many cakes, brownies and cookies—as well as banana bread, beer bread, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread."
I should get into the readings about bread and yeast, to see if Cayce thought it better than the whole grains prepared without yeast. Yeast produce some of the b-vitamins, and produce anti-biotics, which provide a degree of suppression of noxious bacteria in our intestines.
The cookies I bought for my video... I don't have the enthusiasm to eat them anymore. Oh well.
Still have lots to say. Will try to get to my blog post this week.