That’s because in today’s large flour mills, whole meal flour is produced industrially, with the vitamin-rich wheat germ being removed in the first step. Then the bran layers, which contain tens of thousands of beneficial phytochemicals, are sifted out.
The germ, which contain valuable oils, essential vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, and phosphatides (lecithin), can’t be added back without strict limits being placed on the flour’s shelf life, so it is sold away to the animal feed industry.
An advancement for civilization. A step back for health and taste.
Back when this process was introduced in the late 1800s, that was a great advantage of roller milling. Flour could finally be store on ships and covered wagons for long period with little risk of it going bad.
Large-scale industrially produced flour has been the rule now for a half-dozen generations.
As a result, it has become our habit to grab a package of cheap white flour from the grocery shelf. Sadly, many of us have forgotten, or have never known the healthy ingredients contained in true whole grain and this shows in the high rates of degenerative diseases that face our society.
Now as “whole grains” have become a trend, the flour industry has responded. So, at the end of the long and complex milling process, various isolated components of the original grain are mixed into the product and labeled “whole wheat flour.” But the valuable germ, however, in almost all cases is left out.