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Thoughts on what to do with old flour?

 
gardener
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Hello all,

So My wife started to bake cookies when she discovered that there were bugs in our flour!  Yuck!  It was in an apparently sealed container, but the bugs were there nonetheless.  Obviously eating the flour is out of the question.  My question to everyone is can anyone think of a good disposal method such as composting, etc.?

Thanks in advance.

Eric
 
pollinator
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How much are you talking about? a small amount you could just spread out on some soil larger amounts will be harder. Bake it up into something more solid and feed it to chickens/birds?
 
master pollinator
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Somebody here on Permies uses old flour as part of their system for turning char into biochar.
 
Eric Hanson
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Skandi,

I would say that we have about 2-3 pounds/1 kg of flour.

Eric
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Found the thread:
https://permies.com/t/131861/Adding-flour-biochar
 
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If it's that little, I'd just mix it into the compost pile so that it doesn't form a big blob.  Or sprinkle 1/4 lb on the pile after every couple of deposits of your normal compost fodder.
 
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Sculpture
 
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FWIW....

The bugs are Weevils and their eggs are so common every single flour product ships with them!
You can ingest them to your hearts delight without ill effect.
You can keep them from hatching by storing flour in the freezer, and sifting will break them into delicious bite sized pieces. All flour will have them within a year, if kept at room temp, and hot zones within three months.
Grain stored in a dry ice bath will kill them but..... if that same grain is ground and emptied into a flour bin the eggs will be available and will hatch in time.

If your sensitivity is greater than your hunger .... feed it to the chickens.
If your hunger is greater than your sense of disquiet, thank God for the protein.
If no one else has seen them, measure, sift, bake, and let the perfect bliss of ignorance reign at your table!
 
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well one option might be to mix with water sugar and yeast and ferment into beer, that beer could be distilled into custom hand sanitizer or spirits for medicinal purposes.
 
master pollinator
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I grew up on Bill's sift the flour and hope for the best method! If the flour was thrown out, there wouldn't be any cookies. We probably ate plenty of unhatched eggs, though when the grubs hatch they start weaving silky stuff and that was where we drew the line. The hens enjoyed the grubs!

If you have plenty of other flour and also keep hens, Skandi's idea of baking something the chooks will enjoy with the weevilly batch sounds good.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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bruce Fine wrote:well one option might be to mix with water sugar and yeast and ferment into beer, that beer could be distilled into custom hand sanitizer or spirits for medicinal purposes.


These are trying times. I believe this has possibilities. Especially regarding "medicinal purposes."
 
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- Bake dog biscuits
- Dust plants in the garden to discourage some insect pests. Grasshoppers and beetles I believe. You have to rinse the flour off after a couple of days as it can harm the plants if left on.
- Mark the layout of something you are building on the ground
- Mark goal lines on the ground for games
- Shine stainless steel or copper
- Make dry shampoo
- Sculpt ornaments for the Xmas tree
 
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Chicken pancakes. Maybe with some seeds & corn treats added.
 
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flour sock war?

(I also generally sift out and use. The weevils are in there anyway. Then again, I am a barbarian.)
 
pollinator
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Not a viable option for everyone, but last time we did a pantry purge of all the old flours I dumped them in the woodline. This was mid-winter and for the next week or more there would be deer eating on it regularly.
 
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A friend of mine once said, "Don't worry about them as they just add some protein to what you are making".
 
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There is a reason flour sifters are standard in kitchens that use a lot of flour. I'd sift it if there's only a few weevils. If there are too many I'd pitch it in the compost or use it for marking things out on the ground, etc.
 
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if ‘you are what you eat’ is true, then there’s just flour in there.
 
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I would mix it in with my biochar. Oh Wait, I already do that.
JOhn S
PDX OR
 
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Store it in a bucket. Flour is great on burns!   Burn your hand... immediately stick it the bucket of weevil flour.   Its is rather amazing how well it works.
 
Anne Miller
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Our daughter uses flour on our dog's toenails when she clips the nail too short to stop the bleeding.
 
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Bill Haynes wrote:
If your sensitivity is greater than your hunger .... feed it to the chickens.
If your hunger is greater than your sense of disquiet, thank God for the protein.
If no one else has seen them, measure, sift, bake, and let the perfect bliss of ignorance reign at your table!



^this.

Alternatively, I feed old cake mixes and such from co-workers to our cattle.  They get a little bit of grain each day.  The flour product mixes in just fine... but not everyone has a few cattle around.

 
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I still have a lot of flour left from before I realized wheat is not my friend. It went rancid and got flour beetles before I got around to doing anything with it.

It's still good for crafts; I make a cooked paste for paper mache, or combine it with paper pulp, glue, and drywall compound to make paper clay.

Since we're headed into Christmas, salt dough ornaments are a great cheap craft to do with kids, or even on your own. As a kid, I remember using salt dough to make all kinds of dioramas and displays for school projects (because way back then, we still went to actual schools). Tint it with food coloring and add a bit of vegetable oil to keep it workable, and you've got homemade Play-Doh.
 
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I just sift out the weevils. They're harmless, and you eat a whole lot of their eggs and larvae without realizing it, because as someone noted they're always in flour. If you shake whole-wheat flour you may be amazed how many shed pupae cases floof up to the top, looking a lot like bran. If the flour starts smelling musty, it's probably time to give it up and get new flour.

But other things to do with tired flour...
-- make dog treats or pig treats (I suppose goats would like 'em too)
-- make glue-on-demand or Papier-mâché
-- use it to soak up grease or motor oil
-- use it to rub off label stickum or peanut butter
-- use it as janitor's sawdust (floor sweeping compound to pick up fine lint and grit that wants to blow around) -- you can re-use it til it starts to clump up
-- substitute for cornstarch in dry shampoo (doesn't work as well, but good enough)
-- fling it into the wind and enjoy watching it poof up and blow away (something downwind will eat it)

Someone mentioned old cake mixes... I've found they keep more or less forever. I've rediscovered a case of forgotten cake mixes that were over 15 years old and still perfectly good (and as waaaaaaaay out beyond supertaster, if they were at all bad, I'd notice!)

 
Eric Hanson
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone.  As it is, my wife actually just threw the flour out into the woods.  

I love the ideas though.  Thanks much.

Eric
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:Hello all,

So My wife started to bake cookies when she discovered that there were bugs in our flour!  Yuck!  It was in an apparently sealed container, but the bugs were there nonetheless.  Obviously eating the flour is out of the question.  My question to everyone is can anyone think of a good disposal method such as composting, etc.?

Thanks in advance.

Eric



Why not hit up some teachers? There still might be some of the old school that make wheat paste for the students to use. Sift the buggers out and it should be good to use.
Hook up with some herp breeders. They use flour in their feed for raising mealworms.
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:As it is, my wife actually just threw the flour out into the woods.  



1 gazillion microbes extend their gratitude!  "Thanks for dinner", they cry out in their tiny little microbe voices.  
 
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A bit off topic, but since several suggested baking something and feeding to chickens, thought I would ask.

Have always read not to feed bread to chickens. Being stubborn and skeptical, I did one time, and one of them did seem to have ill effects and I had to put her in sick bay for a few days (she recovered just fine).  

So, I don’t feed any more bread to the chickens. Anyone else feed bread to their chickens?
 
Rez Zircon
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Artie Scott wrote:So, I don’t feed any more bread to the chickens. Anyone else feed bread to their chickens?



Mine never got bread, but they ate dog food for years, and did spectacularly well. Concrete eggshells and chickens living past 11 years old.

Then I had to switch brands, and several promptly dropped dead (no symptoms, just came up dead). Had a suspicion it might be the soybean meal (some in the new, none in the old). Didn't seem to affect the roosters, tho, only the hens. And most were fairly old chickens.
 
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