With all the information and studies available declaring the benefits of whole foods, including whole grains, and the deleterious effects of refined foods and grains, it’s puzzling why white flour is still the number one grain served at most schools, restaurants, and social events?
It seems that America’s flour based favorites including pizza, burger buns, hot dog buns, pasta, cookies, pies, cakes, and pastries could be transformed from “junk food” to “health food” with a single tweak, i.e. replacing the white flour with whole grain flour.
One could hope that in the years to follow whole grains will at least be offered as a second choice in public settings. After all, scientific studies as current as 2010 have found whole grains to reduce America’s top four chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
These benefits coupled with scientific studies condemning wheat flour, a.k.a. white flour, as a contributing factor to these diseases, it is probable that there would be a large number of people who would be interested in having the whole grains available, even at a higher price.
With such an effortless improvement that could be made to drastically increase the health of Americans, one might wonder why this change hasn’t yet happened in the majority of places that serve food. There are many whole grain products available at most grocery stores and more people than ever are buying whole grain products. However, this doesn’t crossover to an outing at a ball field, a birthday party or a wedding reception.
Is it that the only people going to parties and outings are those who like consuming “junk foods?” Not at all. People are social and besides being essential for the body to function, food has a significant social component. This is why people who eat whole grains at home can go to a party and eat refined foods. It’s a way of connecting, bonding and partaking in an event. One can even be regarded as uncivil, rude or self exalted if they are to pass up sharing the food made available.
The more people ask for whole grains to be served at their schools, churches, restaurants and social events the more change will happen. Replacing a white pasta dish with a brown rice pasta (the whole grain pasta more like the white stuff) dish, or whole grain buns, or whole grain bread to their next social could help influence others to do the same.
Remember, food has a strong social component and as long as there is good social interaction, the food will be loved. Hail to the whole grain hero, reducing strokes, diabetes, heart disease and helping those with weight issues, one group at a time.