Bob’s Red Mill and Dave’s Killer Bread Take Whole Grains From Field to Your Lunch
Unlike the political capitol of the US, impressive health flows from Milwaukie, Oregon, the whole grain capitol of food fans. Or at least this food fan. What are whole grains? Simply the seeds of certain grasses. Whole grains, a key part of whole foods, plant-based diets, lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and help you stay thin. Ridiculous denials of extensive scientific research by animal foods industries and advocates do not change the basic biological facts.
I was in whole grain heaven the day I visited the headquarters of Bob’s Red Mill and Dave’s Killer Bread. Their two facilities, only minutes apart in Milwaukie (near Portland), are united by a common philosophy that consumers deserve healthy, delicious, convenient whole grain choices.
I was fascinated to watch how these grains journey from field to store, where you can benefit from all this work by simply putting the tasty products into your shopping cart. The ease and low cost are astonishing.
Appropriately, I started the day by visiting the 17 acre Bob’s Red Mill facility, where huge trucks deliver tons of freshly harvested grains to be processed and packaged. The informative tour guide distributed information on the company along with sample of whole grain cereals. A picture of Bob Moore, the company’s founder, brands all 400 of their products. Bob, now in his 80′s, is vigorous and plays an active role in the company’s operations. He is a living testament to the healthfulness of whole grains. However, the company is no longer his – he gifted it to employees for his 81st birthday.
The plant where grains are processed and packaged is meticulously clean. Gluten-free products are extensively tested to be sure they are really free of gluten, and are walled off from the products that do
In addition to elemental whole grains (just the seeds as the plants grew them), cereals, flours, and mixes, Bob’s Red Mill offers flax seeds, dried beans, and other whole foods (be careful, some of the mixes do have animal ingredients, so read the labels).
The flours are special because they are stone ground at low speed and temperature, to maintain maximum taste and nutrition. This contrasts to most flours ground in high-speed steel roller mills that heat the grains to a much hotter temperature. The grinding stones take more care to maintain and are more expensive to operate, but isn’t your health (not to mention taste buds) worth nurturing with nature’s finest foods?
Bob’s Red Mill ships tons of its organic whole wheat flour, freshly milled, a few minutes down the road to the amazing bakery of Dave’s Killer Bread. I was fascinated with a special tour of the plant to watch the
entire production process.
The ingredients for each batch of bread are carefully analyzed because of natural variability in organic ingredients. Small differences can have a profound effect on outcome. In the mixing room, professional bakers figure out how to blend each batch for perfect results. My tour guide emphasized again and again that the bubbling yeast and fermenting dough are “living things” that must be respected and nurtured.
Baking that first loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread took 15 years. That’s the time that Dave Dahl, the force behind the brand, spent behind bars for drug-related convictions. After four long stints in jail, Dave decided to turn his life around and go back to the family baking business.
Today Dave focuses on continuing to perfect his product for the community. All his breads use organic ingredients and are certified organic. These wonderful loaves are 100% animal-free and based on whole grains.
Dave’s Killer Bread sets the standard for breads sold anywhere – stores and bakeries alike. Although
packaged, the taste is right out of the oven. You can totally savor the respect for the baking process and the high quality ingredients in the finished loaves . The 18 varieties have a range of tastes and textures, which fans describe as hearty, chewy, bold, sturdy, airy, sweet, crunchy, nutty, moist, and thick. The Sin Dawg variety is a perfect marriage of bread and a sweet treat. Its sticky cinnamon filling is so addictive that it might be a controlled substance. If you don’t want to get hooked, don’t try this bread.
If you can’t fly to Oregon and your local stores don’t carry the Bob’s Red Mill products you want or Dave’s Killer Bread, don’t despair. You can order online. These special products go far to make a whole foods, plant-based diet accessible and delicious for all.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods. The book describes an anti-inflammatory diet built on whole plant foods that can prevent, and even reverse, most chronic disease. Janice eats whole grains every day, almost every meal, and can’t get enough of Dave’s Killer Bread.