- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
VINE GROVE — The wheat that goes into a common loaf of white bread has been bleached and stripped of nutrients and fiber.
More and more consumers, though, are seeking natural whole wheat breads. A second-generation baker from Bolivia and his family living in a rural area near the Hardin-Meade county line are on to this trend. They even are helping revive forgotten wheat varieties like kamut, kept alive by a small group of Egyptian and southwest Asian farmers.
The Rodriguezes sell their bread, along with other products such as granola, at the Hardin County Farmers’ Market in Elizabethtown at the corner of Peterson Drive and U.S. 62.
Their part-time business — they also make a weekly trip to a Louisville farmers’ market — involves to varying degrees the entire family of eight. They run the home-based Milo Farm Bakery out of a two-car garage converted into a commercial kitchen.
As with other niche health food producers, the Rodriguezes have an educational component of their operation. While they have gotten a “yuck,” before tasters try a
sample, they say their specialty breads draw positive reactions.
“Most everybody that tries our samples, they like it,” said the dad, Emilio Rodriguez.
As for teaching shoppers about ingredients like sucant (crushed sugar cane), daughter Norah seems up to the task. She wrote a nutritional brochure -- one that isn’t kind to white bread.
“In the refining process, about 30 nutrients are removed, but by law, only five must be added back,” it says. Also: “Eating whole grains has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and premature death.”
True, white bread has a longer shelf life, but darker, natural loaves can be frozen.
The Rodriguezes use flour of the whole wheat variety, and it’s ground just before baking. This helps prevent oxidation and seals in nutrients, Norah said.
In addition to kamut, they bake with a type of wheat called spelt, another ancient grain making a comeback. It’s native to Iran and southeast Europe and “one of the seven grains mentioned in the Bible,” according to the brochure. It’s also soft and high in protein and B vitamins.
Milo Farm buys the chemical-free wheat from Montana.
But the family, which uses Kentucky honey in its products, is trying to find a local spelt producer, mother Ellen said.
The bakers also are expanding their selection — to include products such as sticky buns and dinner rolls.
“I think the demand is growing,” Emilio said.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His Stories from the Heartland column appears on Mondays.