The Fresh Loaf

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Old Flour

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Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Old Flour

Hello Everyone,


I have 2 containers, 1 of Semolina and 1 of Course Rye, about 25lbs. each, that are beginning to show evidence of "weevles" in the flour. I don't mean to sound disgusting, but is there any way to salvage this flour - sifting, etc. - that would allow me to continue to use this flour for personal use, or is it done? Sorry if I've creeped anyone out.


Jim

HUGO's picture
HUGO

PUT FLOUR IN FREEZER.  THE BUGS WILL GO TO THE CENTER TO ''KEEP WARM''.  REACH IN AND PULL THE BUNDLE OF BUGS OUT OF THE FLOUR.   ANOTHER OLD NAVY WAY IS TO MAKE ''RAISIN BREAD''.   CHEERS

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I wouldn't want to find bugs in any bread I might eat.  It's a lot of flour to throw out, but that's what I would do.

HUGO's picture
HUGO

Your very correct  ''THROW IT OUT'' Especilly natural milled flour that can grow toxins to a dangerious level.  Even heat won't destroy toxins.   THROUGH IT OUT

will slick's picture
will slick

I would want it out before it effected any other grains around.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Well, I would put each flour bag into a large plastic bag and park both flours in the freezer and sift as needed.


Get a fine sieve, large flat round and fine enough to catch weevils.  Finer than a window screen.   Pitch the weevils and whatever else shows up in the seeve.   Also check other packages in the pantry for dust, tiny holes, webs, etc..   Could be they came from another source or have spread to other food items. 


After using the sieve, bang out the bugs and excess flour (sink or outside) and don't wash it, keep it dry and inside a plastic bag to keep the cupboard clean.  Washing wears out and ruins sieves.


Mini

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

Interesting post. It got me thinking about some of the slower moving grains in the pantry. Living in Hawai'i, is just about bug central and something you have to come to terms with. That said and living on a fixed income I've got to ask a few questions. I know some of you would throw away infested grains. Insects also provide protein. In a lot of countries insects are eaten as part of the diet. Is it the "revolting" thought of eating the bugs, or is there another reason one shouldn't? I notice there are some black things in the cornmeal when I looked at it this morning, not many and only a few times larger than the size of the meal grain. I got my magnifying glass out and I can't see if it is a "critter" or not. If it is a crawly, then do they come from milling like that? I keep my grains in air tight plastic and unless they are already in the bag when I buy it, where dose it come from? Freezing has been mentioned but I have a very small chest freezer and due to the cost of electricity here (34 cents a KW!) I can't afford to run an extra or bigger one. USDA, I know allows so many parts per million of bug "parts" in canned goods. What about grains? If you didn't see it, would you know?? KA flour here (if you don't find it on sale) is about $7.50 for a 5# bag. I do use some KA but for the most part I'm using Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP for everyday use to keep the cost of this hobby down a bit.


Looking forward to more "input" on this subject.


Royall

Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Thank you all for the time taken to respond to my dilemma. I really do love this site and forum. I Googled "how to get rid of flour weevles", and it's amazing the things you can find. What seems to make the most sense is freezing the flour ( or any grain product ) before the things hatch. Yes, it's true, the eggs are already there when we buy it. I'm also relieved at how many people there are out there (not only from tfl) that will just do the best they can to get rid of them, and continue on using the grain. Relieved, because I thought I was the only one. ;-) My father (out of earshot of my mother) told me while growing up on their farm in "backwoods" Mississippi, where they made their own cornmeal, that my grandmother would simply sift any critters out and proceed with the cornbread. And, I can say from experience, that was some of the best cornbread I ever had. Thanks again, everyone! Bon Apetit! - Jim

Zalbar's picture
Zalbar

What you think the "enriched" part means on the bag in the grocery store? :)


Seriously, freeze, sift out the bugs and keep on baking. The only person that has to be worried about what's in the bread you're eating is you.


 


Now if you're selling this stuff to the public, well...uhm....don't.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Look at it this way,  If you have an old bag of flour and nothing grows in it...  what's keeping them out?  Pesticides?  I think of the little critters as competition for my food.  Who's faster?


Keeping bags of flour as stock is only economical when you can use it up in a certain time period.  The price of storing it, keeping it cool, should be considered.


I have used my digital camera to see and photograph suspicious "spots" in food stuffs.  Easily blowing them up on the computer to figure them out.  In Tropical regions, I have always sifted the flour.  A sieve is a basic kitchen tool.   I don't like the sifters with the fancy grip that rotate a blade in the sifter... they just chop things up I'd rather throw away. 


Mini


 


 


 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

Keeping starchy basics - even pastas and legumes - isn't a problem unless you freak out at weevils. If you do, just buy enough for your immediate needs.


If you don't freak out you probably already sift.


On most occasions the eggs come with the goods - if they ARE good and haven't been subjected to pesticides or radiation (in which case the eggs or insects will still be there, just dead).


Holes in packets might be exit holes from adults looking for a new source of food or entry holes, in which case there's a colony somewhere else in your pantry/cupboard/whatever. 


You can't get rid of them, only the evidence :-) But they won't do any harm. You're breathing in many other life-forms every time you inhale. If you open your mouth they get in there too. Why worry?

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

Extra protien!

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

QUOTE:


"Keeping bags of flour as stock is only economical when you can use it up in a certain time period.  The price of storing it, keeping it cool, should be considered."


Very good point Mini!! I think the main reason I stock pile so much food stuff in my house is because I hate having to make special trips to the grocery store in the middle of cooking or baking. It's a 32 mile round trip to the better stores for me.


Aloha,  Royall

salma's picture
salma

I dont buy large quantities but I have a huge assortment of rice, flours, beans, lentils and nuts.  I try to keep most of the stuff in the refrigerator.  I have found that once you have an infestation, they just find different medium to infest.  Especially in the summer time I find a lot of little flying critters, then they lay eggs and form larvae in the most unusual places.  I just try to clean out the sources whenever I find them.  It bugs my husband (no pun intended), but I refuse to use exterminators.  I'd rather live with little bugs then pesticides.  Well said by Mini Oven, if they dont attack certain products you wonder what's in them that we should not be eating.  Growing up in the East, we always sifted our flours. And a few bugs are just protein, we will kill them, they wont kill us!


Salma

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

You need a lot of fridge space to store flour, pasta, rice, quinoa, bulghur, semolina, cornflour, corn and all the rest of the carbohydrate and pulses, nuts stocks we have :-)


Weevils are NOT a problem. Just sift. you won't be aware of the eggs.


:-))))


 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I've just realised that I'm talking from England - Great Britain. Most of us don't have the refrigerator space you have across the pond. We, the Fishers, have a larger fridge than most and a huge chest freezer in a shed as well as a tall freezer in our small kitchen.


I have a pantry - which is also unusual in modern houses, our house dates from 1937. the pantry isn't as cool as it might be but is better, far better, than kitchen cupboards. I'm keeping the remnants of the large pig hind leg I cooked for some of the family (nine) yesterday (or was it the day before? ) in the pantry because the fridge is full. I know that it won't come to harm.


In the pantry I also keep all our stock ingredients and vegetables, we could withstand a three month seige. It's not likely to happen but ...


We also live on a hill (at least 30' above the river level) so shan't be isolated by floods which have inundated the parts off Yorkshire which have suffered lately.


But we have suffered from snow on our hill - in the inner city - which has meant that if we'd wanted to go out for stores we wouldn't have been able to. It wasn't until yesterday that we could walk or drive to post a letter. the main roads have been cleared but not ours.


In fact if we'd lived in the country we'd have fared better, there local farmers fit snow ploughs to their tractors and clear snow from roads, lanes and drives. I wish we had a tractor ... :-)


If there were a problem with our gas or electricity supply we'd be fine. We have candles (I'm a beeswax chandler), bottled gas barbecue and a wood burning stove on which I cook, to say nothing of the charcoal firepot and the caravan hobs - it would be an adventure instead of a tragedy :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How so many were trapped in over the New Year festivities having to stick around and get to know each other because the roads were snowed shut.  Guess one should be thankful to have flour with weevils than to not have any flour at all.  That would be rough.


I awoke this morning to the still breaking sound of a snow plow clearing the village roads from last nights snow.   It motivates me to warm up the kitchen.  And I can think of no better way than to bake something in the oven while my neighbor shovels out his driveway.  I will have to dig myself out too...eventually.   I can relate to the tractors.  We have a few scattered around and there's fun in their driver's eyes when we get snowed in.  Like a bunch of boys in a sandbox!   Just stay out of their way!  Coffee's hot and toast is buttered!


Mini

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

The snow and ice mostly thawed two days ago, one had to be careful on the pavements because of patches of compressed snow (ice).


Then it snowed again, and again ... it's not deep, we don't have to dig ourselves out, but walking can be hazardous and I'd rather stay indoors than go out in the car or scooter because there are some drivers who simply don't know how to control their vehicles in snow. A daughter was shunted on a Welsh mountain near her farm the other day. We're simply not used to it any more.


Your mention of tractors reminded me that I was talking to someone on the North York Moors - very exposed and deep in snow - the other day. She said that they were probably better off than us in the city because there were lots of farmers who loved fitting snow ploughs to their machines and being local heroes - and treated by lonely householders too :-)


Better make some bread now, we're running out!