Why are organic grain foods sometimes bitter

Has it sometimes happened to you, that you buy organic oat flakes (rolled oats), take them home, prepare them, then prepare yourself for a heavenly taste and… get disappointed, because the food is bitter?

Quick answer is simple – oat flakes had contact with air for too long. Most interesting is, that they can be only one month old after processing, but still they are unbearable. The same I experienced with barley porridge. Theoretical solution is simple – seal oats and oat flakes so that there is no contact with air. For example, in a tin candy box. Of course, cool storage place will always slow down all chemical reactions.

I always could not believe it. So expensive and so bad! I thought it is because organic farmers still apply something, so that mice or insects don’t eat crops. I tried washing before cooking, it seemed to help a bit, but I guess only psychologically, because when I simply asked a farmer, what’s wrong, I got the picture.

Oat flakes are deemed as a diet food for people who want to lose extra fats. Mass producers put some dietologist union stamps on the packages that oat flakes are very healthy. How absurd it all is after I heard what farmer told me.

Fat acids. That is the problem. As soon as grain is damaged, i.e., pressed. Fats in the grain start to react with air and become acids. After one month it goes so far, that it is possible to feel it by taste. In order not to frustrate consumers mass producers heat process oat flakes to KILL the precious oils in it. This is how oat flakes become from MOST FAT grain into DIET food. Yes, oats contain more fats than most grains.

I noticed the same about the barley. When I was younger I was not so principal about my health and I had a drink time to time. Of course I wanted to try some organic beer. What I noticed was, that beer that is made of organic barley for some reason tasted like plant oil. I was surprised! Why did they add plant oil in beer?! It was unusual, but this is how beer tasted hundred years ago and what people drink today is actually something else.

Forget about the beer. This is all about oats and barley. Plant oil rich foods if organic, and zero fat foods if intensive mass production. So when you buy oat flakes, ask if they been heated and see the expiration date. In Latvia it is usually two months and I minus one month to get me a real best before date. However there is no such thing as best before since degrading process is constant, so maybe you have to think about pressing your oats yourself right before you eat them.

This website explains some things as well:



About Pavels Melnis

Independent ecology activist, family farmer, gardener and forestkeeper. Musician: violin, guitar, singing. Hobbies: traveling by bicycle, learning to play different music instruments - accordion, piano, recorder flute, harmonica, drums; languages, theology, prehistory, logbuilding, repairing and recycling. Religious. Ecological. Love all things ethnic and traditional.
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4 Responses to Why are organic grain foods sometimes bitter

  1. Stephen Nitschke says:

    That’s all very well, but I have been buying oats that I get to roll in the shop on a hand press, and they taste a little bitter.

  2. Stephen Nitschke says:

    I get my late from a store where I roll them myself, yet they stick taste bitter.

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