Instead of high tech, it is low-tech businesses like craft beer and community supported agriculture that seem to stand at the forefront of economic transformation. “Being accountable to our employee-owners means we have to take them into account,” he told me. Food Science Innovation Coordinator and Facility Manager Rob Dumas of the University of Maine, right, leads a discussion Wednesday in the kitchen of Maine Grains in Skowhegan. SKOWHEGAN — When the pandemic hit in mid-March and panic sent shoppers rushing to the grocery store to buy flour, employees at Maine Grains buckled down, working to keep their products in stock and available to their distributors. Gifts For New Bakers & Seasoned ProfessionalsShop NowFeel the Power of Flour this holiday season.Shop GrainsWe believe that a gristmill is at the heart of turning the many and varied contributions of a community into sustenance for all.SHOP NOW Previous Next From Jailhouse to Gristmill Learn about the unusual story behind the former county jail […] Learn more about grains in our Grains Guide and our Grains Brochure. That Flour You Bought Could Be the Future of the U.S. Economy. Imagine feeling confident about what you put in your body. Tristan Spinski (b.1978) is a photographer, writer and co-founding member of GRAIN, a photography collective. Offering a distinctive, high-quality product and engaging deeply with customers aren’t exactly new ideas. So it is very pleasing – watching their growth from 200 miles north – to read such a well-written article as this one penned by Amy Halloran, appearing in the sterling ‘New Food Economy.’ For the early centuries of American history, local mills, powered by water, were economic anchors for small towns across the American colonies and, later, the nation. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Please note the display name will appear on screen when you participate. Companies like Maine Grains and King Arthur are challenging the commodity pressures in flour markets using methods that were pioneered in the craft beer and local produce markets.  Credit...Hilary Swift for The New York Times, Mr. Wu is the author of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.”. Maine Grains Sales Skyrocket During Pandemic, Earns Praise From New York Times August 7, 2020 TAYLOR ABBOTT, MORNING SENTINEL Since COVID-19 struck, Amber Lambke, the founder and CEO of Maine Grains and co-founder of the Maine Grain Alliance, said her business has seen a 4,000% increase in online sales. Small grains have long played an important role in Maine agriculture, and their value is increasing with new markets for a greater variety of grains, pulses, and oilseeds. OATS. The basic technologies of milling were invented sometime in the third century B.C. When you have a grain economy in place in the state, you have grain for bread, grain for chefs, grains for beer, but part of the cycle here at the mill is that byproducts of the cleaning process here become available to backyard livestock producers at very affordable rates.”. Whole grains are good, whether served whole or ground up, experts say, but with a few caveats. There was once a time, in the 1990s and 2000s, when it was widely thought that Silicon Valley would show us the way to a better, fairer economy, creating entire ecosystems of companies with distinctive offerings. It is also a benefit corporation, which means that having a positive social impact is part of its legal corporate mission. He also says that pre-Green Revolution grains may be better for us. The senior author of the Circulation study, Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard, cautions that eating whole grains is not a panacea. Maine Grains sales skyrocket during pandemic, earns praise from New York Times. With some 20 employees, it mills about 2,000 tons of flour a year in an industry where larger companies can mill more than 20,000 tons a day. This bigger-is-better, dominate-the-industry strategy is a major reason the American economy is as oligarchical and homogeneous as it is. “This is a new model that could be showing promise for rural areas and is challenging this notion of, ‘why would you run a business that cannot scale at the cheapest possible cost and make the most amount of money,'” Lambke said. THE NEW YORK TIMES “Artisanal Wheat On the Rise” THE SMITHSONIAN “A Bread Winner” MAINE MAGAZINE SOURCE Award Maine Grain Alliance Seeds the Future. Maine Grain sells its products from Maine to New York City. Most of the flour sold today is for commercial use and ends up in premade or processed food products. Maine Grains operates out of a repurposed jailhouse in Skowhegan. This game was created by a NY Times team that created a lot of great games for Android and iOS. If King Arthur is basically a medium-size, employee-owned corporation that tries to be good, a regional mill like Maine Grains represents a more radical vision: the return of true agricultural localism. Postal Service policies as election nears, Sheriff’s office investigates break-in at brewery in Harrison, Webinars on selling meat, poultry planned for Jan. 20, 21, Colin & Brad: Stream of Consciousness to be streamed Jan. 9 and 16, Miss Maybell livestream concert set for Jan. 14, Want news about Maine’s marijuana industry? Cracked oats can be prepared the same as steel cut oats and can be pre-soaked for a shorter cooking time.. Maine Grains buys directly from local farmers and grinds in small batches using traditional stone mills ensuring top quality grains.. Each order contains one bag (2.4 lbs) of cracked oats. Amid a rise of coronavirus cases in Maine, Gov. Now, months later, sales have stabilized, but the business is still seeing an increase in sales as many have shifted their eating habits from mainly dining out to staying and eating at home. Enter your email and password to access comments. (Sales at Gold Medal also went up, but not nearly as much.) By the established logic of the business world, Maine Grains, a small miller of flour in a rural part of the state, should not exist. They figured out how to have enough equipment and workers on hand to mill grain into flour and package it in retail-sized bags quickly enough to meet the demand. Timothy Wu captures the excitement about local grain economies that ... are thriving and that represent the future of flour in his NYT Opinion piece. PORTLAND PRESS HERALD “Alliance in Skowhegan grain project testing draws interest” MORNING SENTINEL “Maine Grains receives $89,000 grant to expand oat production, create more jobs” Tristan lives in Portland, Maine. 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