Know Your Flour, Know Your Food

Why you should care who makes your flour, and how. It's no secret how much we Americans love our sugary foods, and our flour is...

Why you should care who makes your flour, and how.It's no secret how much we Americans love our sugary foods, and our flour is no exception. When we overly refine our grain into flour, we gain an extended shelf life, which we pay for with lost nutrients. That companies like Cargill and Monsanto appear less concerned with our ever-expanding waistlines than they do with their bottom lines shouldn't come as a surprise. Thanks to Big Ag and over-processing, most of our flour has been reduced to a big snowy Pixy Stix in a bag.But Stone-Buhr, a small flour milling company in Seattle is hoping to change this model. With David vs. Goliath ambitions, owner and CEO Josh Dorf's mission is simple: to sell sustainably farmed flour from small family farmers, and to deliver a superior product that will truly "perform in your recipe." It makes sense: Why spend all that money and time growing tasty organic food and raising free-range eggs only to compromise the flavor by adding low-quality flour to your recipe?Dorf points out that while Stone-Buhr flour is not organic, the wheat they use is all certified by Food Alliance-the oldest and largest third-party certifier for sustainable agriculture. All the farmers in the program use a less disruptive "direct seed" technique that doesn't require the topsoil to be tilled. By farming in this manner they "pass over the field much less than conventional or organic farmers-using less fuel inputs than either," says Dorf.Ironically, 10 years ago Monsanto actually flew some of these farmers to a test-farm in the Midwest to show them "no-till" agriculture. The farmers, galvanized by their experience, "banded together to develop an alternative method of growing wheat (and other crops), which worked at stopping soil loss." Their dedication to their technique makes sense. "These are multi-generational family farmers who have one asset: about 18 inches of top-soil," says Dorf. "They also saw real environmental benefits-in soil improvements, water usage, wildlife, and [used] less fuel to run their tractors." By joining forces with this progressive group of family farmers, Stone-Buhr's dream became realizable.For Dorf and his farming cohorts, sustainability is about real stewardship of the land; it's about "responsibly producing a crop without depleting the vitality of the soil or surrounding areas." Their model recognizes the sustainability of human labor as well, stressing fair worker pay.As a champion of accountability in our food system, Stone-Buhr developed a tool called FindtheFarmer that allows you to track your flour back to the sustainable wheat farmer who grew it. At a time when consumers are increasingly interested in the provenance of their food, why forget about such an important food staple as our flour?Stone-Buhr's traceable flour is packed with all of the fiber, nutrients, and flavors you probably won't find in your pantry. Now, the next time you bake some delicious cookies, you shouldn't have any problem finding your farmer and sending him a deliciously homemade token of your appreciation.Photo (CC) by Flickr user earlyCJ5
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

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