The Story of The Cornbread and Pancake Mixes
North Frontier Foods is a small organic company that makes the Cornbread and Pancake mixes. The owner, Ole Norgaard is that is also an organic farmer that currently leases an organic farm (650 acres) 13 miles west of Lewistown, Montana where he grows organic wheat, barley, peas, sanfoin seed, triticale, alfalfa and grass hay and the special black/purple Indian Corn called Montana Morado Maize.
The corn breeder Dave Christensen from Big Timber, Montana tells his part of the story with excitement and a deeper purpose of his life:
“At the age of 17 I had a powerful dream that I was supposed to grow a sacred black colored corn. I saw the corn in my dream. I was make to know that this mission given to me would have global importance for mankind someday. It was an astonishing dream that came out of nowhere. I had never heard of black corn. I didn't know how to grow it or why, and I would not know for many years. Put that on hold.
About ten years into corn breeding I located some hardy corn seeds that came from the North side of Black Mesa in Arizona. I grew it in Montana. When I peeled back the husks in Fall, two of the ears had solid black kernels just like the corn of my dream. I stood there in astonishment. This is what I am supposed to grow. The Navajo Grandmother said that the black corn was for healing. I knew what I was to do. I bred the genes for black kernels into my Montana heirloom corn, moving this trait north. I developed this for two decades out of obedience to my dream, but still not knowing why.
Around year 2000 a friend heard the owner of a nutraceutical company in California say, "I'm going to the Andes to get this black healing corn. I wish that someone in North America grew it."
Scientists had begun examining the deep purple/black mountain corns grown by the indigenous people of the high Andes in Peru. The Natives credited this corn for their good health. The corn is called Morado, which is the Spanish word for dark purple. The scientists discovered that black corn had extraordinarily high levels of Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are pigments whose antioxidant properties stop the aging of cells and have many powerful healing benefits for human health. More reports of its healing properties are coming in like a landslide each new year.
Now I knew the reason why I had been developing a population of black corn for the North. With great excitement I told my friends in the sustainable agriculture community. Ole Norgaard and others saw the power of natural healing and got excited. They joined me in expanding and advancing this black corn which we call Montana Morado Maize.
In 2004 a study called “Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant of Common Foods in the United States” was published. In this publication over 100 different foods are analyzed and on table 7 you can read that Blue Corn has a total Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of 6.84. OARC is used as a tool to measure the Anthocyanins levels of the antioxidant spectrum.
When a sample of corn flour from the Montana Morado Maize was analyzed at the same laboratory it showed a total ORAC of 68.0 or 10 times higher level than blue corn. Each year Dave Christensen though his work keeps selecting, evaluation, crossing and testing the corn to unveiled more of its sacred secrets.
The Other Door – Part of the Story
In the first years of growing the new corn it was sold to a nutraceutical company in California that though a special process was extracting the Anthocyanins and selling the extract to the medicine industry, that all work well until the year the company forgot to pay for the corn………Well when one door closes another door opens up, and now we got a cornbread and pancake mix that everybody can enjoy.
The Organic Ingredients - side of the Story
All the ingredients in the mixes are certified organic and of very high quality.
The organic Sea Salt is from France, where they use centuries-old Celtic harvesting methods, to produce the finest gray sea salt in the world: Sel Gris.
The very special organic baking powder is imported from Germany though a company in California. The organic sugar is a Fair Trade product made from certified organic sugar cane grown in South America. The organic honey crystals are a natural and rich flavored product made here in the USA.
The organic wheat is mainly grown by Ole Norgaard on the organic farm west of Lewistown, Montana. Here Ole uses his life experience in farming in working with the life forces of nature to insure the best possible growing conditions for the wheat.
The Flour Making - Aspect of the Story
In the flour making process a stone mill is used to ground the corn and wheat into flour. Milling flour in a stone mill preserves all the goodness that is contained in the complete and unaltered grain kernel. Stone mills turn relatively slow and do not generate very much heat in the process so the flour retains nearly all the healthy germ, natural oils, vitamins and enzymes of the grain.
The Final Verse of the Story
So here we are, after years of hard work, mixing all the ingredients together, putting them into bags and finally putting the labels on. Each bag now carry’s the story of organic farming in Montana and other places around the world as well as a deeper purpose of the Black/purple Indian Corn that might be a little difficult to put “ones” hand around, but somehow can be experienced though the cornbread and pancakes them selves.