Indigenous cultures know how to prepare grains and beans properly to ensure optimal health. In the Loetschental Valley in Dr. Price’s time the natives did not have doctors or dentists because they did not need them. They also consumed large amounts of sourdough rye bread. A careful analysis of the Swiss diet nutrient chart earlier on this website shows that the high alpine rye bread only provides a little bit more than 0.1 grams of phosphorous in the daily diet than white bread. This is not the huge difference in nutrients that whole grains are supposed to have over white flour. The explanation for this is that the people of the Swiss Alps did not use the whole rye grain.
As in many cultures across the world, the Swiss natives started with a whole rye kernel. But after grinding it slowly on a stone wheel, they sifted the rye and removed approximately 1/4 of the flour mixture by weight of all impurities)” Bran and germ consist of approximately 15-20% of the entire kernel. To be clear, if they started with one cup of flour, after sifting they would have 74 of a cup of flour remaining. This rye bread still probably contained trace amounts of bran and germ vitamins.
Even without knowing the science of phytic acid and lectins, they removed the phytic acid through fermentation, and removed toxic lectins in the germ and bran of the rye grain by sifting out the germ and the bran completely. It is likely then that the safe consumption of our most common grains similar to rye, like wheat, kamut, spelt, and barley involve a substantial or complete removal of the bran and the germ. The high Alpine natives produced a sourdough rye bread in large batches, which included a four-and-a-half-hour hand mixing time.
While the people in the Loetschental Valley baked their bread once per month, a more ancient recipe was based upon only one single communal bread baking per year. That means for the rest of the year the bread aged while it was hung on walls. There is evidence that aging grains under certain conditions removes phytic acid and it may also further degrade other grain toxins.
When considering healthy grain consumption we often overlook the importance of the other foods eaten with the grains. How healthy a grain is to eat for the health of your teeth depends on how much phytic acid and other toxins the grain has as well as how much or how little calcium is in your diet. The Swiss natives who enjoyed near total immunity to tooth decay understood this principle and combined their rye bread consumption with cheese and milk in the same meal.
This food combining of calcium-rich cheese and milk, and vitamin C-rich dairy products protected them against any residual grain toxins left in their bread not destroyed by milling, fermentation, sifting, baking and aging. The secret to the healthy Loetschental Valley people is their preparation methods which produced grains low in toxins, as well as their consumption of grains in combination with dairy products which were high in calcium, phosphorous, and fat-soluble vitamins.
Wheat and dairy products eaten together is not just seen in the high Alpine villages. In Africa a traditional dish made from wheat known as kishk involves a laborious process to make the wheat safe to eat. First the wheat is boiled, dried, and then ground. The bran is completely removed as in the case of the Loetschental rye preparation. Milk is soured in a separate vessel, and then milk and bran-free wheat are soured together for 24-48 hours, and finally dried for storage.
Ancient beer recipes do use the bran and germ of grains. Ancient beer is a fermentation method that extracts the good vitamins from the bran and the germ without exposing the beer drinker to the grain toxins. Unfortunately modern commercially brewed beers can cause cavities.