“Conventional milling technology splits off the bran and germ right at the beginning. If they are selling the whole grain, they just add those parts back in later, which apparently is not as good as keeping them in the whole time. That’s the Community Grains premise. Whole grain is one of the important things missing from the Western diet.”-Michael Pollan, Wall Street Journal Nov. 2011
Community Grains offers a small but growing variety of whole grain flours, dried pastas, heritage Italian polentas, and heirloom beans. We’re a new California company finding itself at the forefront of several important food trends:
- Delicious Food—We offer flour with great texture, performance and flavor characteristics, challenging common assumptions about whole grain food.
- True Whole Grain—All our products include the grain in its entirety and are shelf stable. Our grains are milled without ever separating the germ, bran, and endosperm.
- Transparency and full information—Grains in California are almost entirely found within an industrial structure. Carving out an alternative local grain economy in part depends on trusting in the values of transparency and full information, so we are about information—lots of it.
- Local—All our grains and products are 100% grown and milled in California. We continue to create and maintain relationships between farms, millers, bakers, cooks, expanding our community and sharing knowledge. We hope to help facilitate the establishment of small scale grain economies in other regions as well through education & shared experience.
Looking forward, we see a rich future in whole grains, and we want to help define it. Community Grains is also active in several important fundamental building blocks of a richer local grain economy. We are actively pursuing more locally grown organic wheat and hope to have more organic offerings soon.
We’re working with mid-sized, local farmers who want to grow wheat varieties that are healthy, nutritious and taste great. This requires a smaller scale infrastructure to store, clean, and blend wheat, as well as set protocols for understanding the values of these varieties, and an economic structure that makes sense for everyone.
Whole-grain baking and cooking is different than with All-Purpose white flour. We’re finding that there is an exciting new set of possibilities and challenges. We will continue to add to our recipe collection, and plan to establish an online forum for exchanging recipes and sharing experiences with this new flour.
To fully understand the health and nutritional value of grain in its entirety, we’ve established a science committee of prominent biochemists, plant biologists, epidemiologists and journalists to look more closely at the health benefits of true whole grains. With the current FDA standards on whole grains being as vague as they are, and the public’s confusion in regards to these standards, we aim to share what we learn in hopes of educating the general public about true whole grains, and to instill confidence in the consumer by offering a truly delicious and truly 100% whole grain product.
Our whole grain standard:
Community Grains defines “whole grain” as the grain in its entirety— 100% of the germ, bran, and endosperm found in the grain, according to FDA guidelines (2006 draft). Beyond that standard, our flour has been milled without separating those three components at any point in the milling process, nor has anything been added. Our flours are not reconstituted.
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