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Sep 26, 2012 05:19 PM

How To Word a Rant About All White Flour

O.K. , I am not a nutritional expert and when I try to talk about it, I'm not sure I can talk the talk. I just know that we have a huge obesity crisis in this country and that all white flour is rather dead nutritionally.

You ever notice how converts are always the most zealous in their (newfound) beliefs? Well, I'm wanting to bring this " begin using some whole graiin flour" message to the various food/recipe sites in which I participate. For example, below is what I just posted on a newly posted recipe on Serious Eats. Could you help me improve the wording? I want to just be able to cut and paste a general message like this when I see the occasion. I hope you won't reprimand me. I'm hoping/trusting that a knowledgeable CH will help me here; otherwise i'll prob just keep posting the message below. I'm being lazy in not doing my own research, but even if i did, i still would trip over the language. I do appreciate your help!

(Plse Improve this Wording):

<What I really want to say, in a bit of a rant voice, is WHY can't Serious Eats baker-recipe developers learn that using all white flour is BAD for you/ empty calories? Particularly in our world of increasing levels of obesity? So many options to keep the flavor good, but increase the nutritional value (nonexistent in an all- white flour recipe). Unless you're craving an angel food cake, use kamut flour ( equal in nutritional value to whole wheat flour, but milder in flavor), half and half to start, for whole grain goodness. And maybe some other whole grain things to add texture (wheat germ, bran, nuts etc.) This cake is heavy anyway, so you can play with lots of healthier components. YOU, as a public voice with a large audience of followers, have an opportunity to start helping change the way we eat in this country. When you lead the way, people will follow. Just sayin'.>

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  1. The obesity epidemic is likely a consequence of the increase in the sugar content in much of our (US) food. See Dr. Lustig's lecture: Sugar — The Bitter Truth.

    1. Maybe don't rant. How about "I tried this recipe with half kamut flour to boost the nutrition and it was great!"

      1 Reply
      1. re: babette feasts

        +1 to this approach. I think subbing whole grain flour for white flour is awesome, and like the extra flavor and texture it brings, but it's not appropriate to every application, everyone's taste buds are different, and no one likes reading a cut-and-paste rant. Make the recipe your way and share your substitution successes! Explain what they bring to the finished product, taste- and texture-wise so that others know what to expect when they do the substitution. Bring more value to the conversation than OMG U R SO UNHEALTHY.

        Also, posting the same message over and over again will likely get you banned or ignored as a troll.

      2. I'd also say that convenience foods play an extremely large part in obesity, much more than the popular flour choice.

        As for your question, I'm not sure you'd be able to reply without sounding preachy. What was the recipe you were commenting on? Perhaps you'd be more successful reworking the recipe and posting your healthier alternative.

        1. Serious Eats is NOT about healthy; it's about delicious.

          So, you're amped about using alternative, more healthy flours - great! Do it and post your results and talk to your friends, etc. Preaching to a recipe developer that they're doing it wrong will never get a god response. Also, the blanket "all white flour is bad for you with empty calories" is kind of silly when you're talking about dessert. I don't want my dessert to be good for me; I want it to taste good. I eat a very varied diet, no processed foods, vegetable I grow myself, etc, etc, etc, but I eat white flour breads and pastries and cookies with absolutely no guilt. I have the feeling that the good people at Serious Eats feel the same. Perhaps instead, you might suggest they start a new column on healthier baking. That might get a better response. Heck, they might even suggest you run it.

          1 Reply
          1. The importance of whole-grain flour in bread is that it provides fiber (what you cal "texture"). I don't imagine many people want fiber in a cake, and those who do probably load it up with sugar anyway to make it palatable. It is better to reduce or give up sweets than to try to make them "healthy."

            As for bread, my observation is that there are very many choices of whole-grain bread available, at least in metropolitan areas.