Why Gluten Free?
Many people have sensitivities to gluten whether they are aware of it or not. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and millet which is difficult for most people to digest and in turn damages the microvilli of the small intestine. Wheat flour can be labeled as: whole grain flour, enriched flour, bleached enriched flour, etc. Doesn't matter what kind it is, it is all flour which contains this protein gluten. Humans did not start to eat grains as a dietary staple until the agricultural revolution about 12,000 years ago and do not have a digestive system designed to handle this protein. Most people have been eating wheat since they were infants and ingesting wheat products daily for a lifetime. This constant consumption of gluten can be very irritating to many people and can manifest its effects as digestive issues, autoimmune issues, skin problems, the list goes on. Grains can be better digested by fermenting or sprouting, these processes "pre-digest" the grain and break it down to where it may be better tolerated for the body and allow for more access to nutrients. For more information on on gluten, grains and sprouting and fermenting, click here.
Why Grain Free?
All grains, including gluten-free grains like millet, buckwheat and sorghum, contain phytates. What are phytates? Phytates are enzymes present in the outside bran of the grain. These enzymes bind with minerals with the intent of heping the grain grow but when digested by humans, these phytates bind with the same types of minerals (magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, and sodium) in order to be excreted so they actually "steal" minerals from the body. Over time this mineral steal can effect all processes in the body as all normal physiology requires adequate vitamins and minerals as catalysts.
Why Can White Rice Flour be OK Then?
So is rice a grain? Technically, yes. Why do we say it is ok to be used in some of our baked goods? Here's why. The difference between brown rice and white rice is the that brown rice still has the outer hull intact. This is where the benficial minerals are contained. This is also where phytates, the same phytates found in tall grass grains, are located. As mentioned above, these phytates bind with minerals in order to be excreted so we do not absorb them and lose minerals in the process. White rice however has the hull, therefore phytates removed and what is left is just a pure starch. Does it have nutritious benefits? Other than providing a carbohydrate source for the body, no. Some people especially very active people may like to supplement their carbohydrate intake with a non-irritating starch like white rice if they are in need of increased calories. White rice flour provides a dense and moist "flour like" texture in some baked goods without the harmful "mineral steal". The goal for our products is to offer a baked good that does not subtract any nutrition from the body therefore in our opinion white rice flour is an acceptable four to be used.