Decline in whole grain consumption

Decline in whole grain consumption

Our blog posts on this topic show that a clear distinction must be made between whole grain and white flour products when eating cereals and cereal products. Firstly, the nutrient and fiber content of whole grain products is much higher than that of products made from white flour.  This in turn can result in a longer-lasting satiety and a beneficial effect on the body’s health. On the other hand, nutrition societies also recommend whole grain products. Decline in whole grain consumption

But how did it come about that people started producing low-nutrient white flour instead of whole grain flour at the beginning of the 20th century? The answer is: to extend the shelf life of the flour. This is because the germ and parts of the outer layers of a grain kernel are richer in nutrients, but also more perishable. So only the endosperm was ground into white flour. Since this was associated with a great deal of work, the selling price increased. White flour became a product that only “higher social” classes could afford and was considered the healthier version of flour. What at the time was a status symbol has now become a cheap mass product.

If we look at cereal consumption in Germany, for example, we see that it has declined steadily, and with it that of whole grain cereals as well. Whereas in 1750 cereal consumption per capita per year was 255 kg – 95% of which was whole grain – 200 years later (1950) the annual per capita consumption was only 99 kg, 30% of which was whole grain. In 2015, Germany ate 80 kg of grain per capita/year. The amount of whole grains was 11%.

As we can see, the actual state of whole grain consumption does not correspond to what nutrition societies recommend. It is therefore in our interest, among other things, to impart knowledge about whole grain flour, which is rich in nutrients and fibre. And with our Salzburg grain mills you can grind your own fresh whole grain flour every day.



Rittenau, N. (2019): Vegan-Klischee ade! Wissenschaftliche Antworten auf kritische Fragen zu veganer Ernährung. Mainz: Ventil Verlag UG & Co. KG, S. 238-240