Bran. It’s good for us, right? That’s what I thought; up to a few years ago, I’d always chose the wholegrain option. . So why (as I’m doing here in this photo) did the ancestral Scots strain the bran out of their fermented oats and give it to the chickens/compost? . And why did Galen and Roman physicians recommend white bread for optimum health benefits? . The role of bran in our health is more nuanced than has been painted by modern health drives. . Yes, the outside of grain, bran, does hold nutrients that the inside of the grain doesn’t. And yes, it’s fibrous which can help with elimination. But it’s harder for our bodies to digest and contains a larger percentage of the toxic compounds – for some people these two things can cause issues. . I believe the way to intelligently work with this information is to not swing one way or the other, but to be measured and to call upon the ancestral techniques learnt by those who nourished themselves on the bounty of the land long before us. . I bake wholegrain breads. I also bake breads with partially-sieved flour. I soak and sour all my flours (i.e. I make sourdough) which helps eliminate the toxins. And with other foods, like sowans, the Scottish oat ferment in the photo, I do as tradition dictates and strain out the bran before making my porridge! . It’s harder than being all-or-nothing, but as with so many things in life, finding compromise is the best way forward. . I have an article on my site titled “Are Whole Grains Healthy?”. I’ve popped it at the top of my if you want a read. And my course on sowans, the ancestral oat fermentation method is available at @thefermentationschool.