All Purpose Flour Side Effects And Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  12 min read

What are all purpose flour benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are all purpose flour pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on all purpose flour benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about all purpose flour benefits and side effects. This will include all purpose flour benefits for your health and potential risks, all purpose flour water footprint and carbon footprint, all purpose flour sustainability, if all purpose flour is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if all purpose flour is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about all purpose flour benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know All Purpose Flour Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

All purpose flour side effects may include:

Unfortunately, there are no all purpose flour health benefits. Instead, you should use flours like: besan, whole wheat flour, rice flour, almond flour, rye flour and amaranth flour to get some health benefits.

All purpose flour is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: likely low, 1,827 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of wheat / 219 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of wheat

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of wheat, a car driving equivalent of 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers

Destruction: moderate-high, wheat production is moderately sustainable to unsustainable, non-organic wheat uses large amounts of fertilizer, a lot of energy is needed to make the fertilizer, nitrous oxide gas is released when fertilizer degrades into the soil, organic wheat farms use far more land than conventional farming which could, in theory, be “set aside for wildlife or used for biomass energy”, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

All purpose flour is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, all purpose flour production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, all purpose flour production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: wildlife and ecosystems, animals may be indirectly killed or harmed from wheat production as toxic chemicals are often used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

All purpose flour is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

All purpose flour…

What is an all purpose flour substitute?

Gluten free, all purpose flour substitutes are almond flour, amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, cassava flour, chickpea/garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, oat flour and rice flour.

all purpose flour is acidic. all purpose side effects include not fitting into an alkaline diet.

all purpose flour is acidic. all purpose side effects include not fitting into an alkaline diet.

Is all purpose flour alkaline or acidic?

All purpose flour is acidic.

What is the pH level of all purpose flour?

White, all purpose flour has a 4.5 pH level, once digested and wheat all purpose flour has a 5.5 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

all purpose flour is not gluten free. all purpose side effects include not fitting into a gluten free diet.

all purpose flour is not gluten free. all purpose side effects include not fitting into a gluten free diet.

Is all purpose flour gluten free?

No, all purpose flour is not gluten free. All purpose flour contains gluten since it is made from wheat, a glutinous ingredient.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

all purpose flour is a common food allergen: wheat. all purpose side effects include being dangerous for many.

all purpose flour is a common food allergen: wheat. all purpose side effects include being dangerous for many.

Is all purpose flour a common food allergen?

Yes, all purpose flour contains a common food allergen: wheat. Many people experience allergic reactions to all purpose flour.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

all purpose flour has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does all purpose flour have a high or low water footprint?

All purpose flour has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of all purpose flour?

It takes 1,849 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of wheat flour / 222 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of wheat flour.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

all purpose flour has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does all purpose flour have a high or low carbon footprint?

All purpose flour has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of all purpose flour? It takes around 0.65 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of all purpose flour, a car driving equivalent of 1.5 kilometers or 2.5 miles.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors that may be included are…

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

all purpose flour is unsustainable when non-organic, moderately sustainable when organic.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is all purpose flour eco friendly? Is all purpose flour sustainable?

All purpose flour production is unsustainable when non-organic, moderately sustainable when organic. This is due to heavy pesticide usage when not-organic and monocropping that occurs with all wheat production. Monocropping depletes nutrients in soil, reduces organic matter and causes erosion.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

all purpose flour is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is all purpose flour vegan?

Yes, all purpose flour is vegan. All purpose flour is not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

all purpose flour may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is all purpose flour a product that has labor issues?

At this time, there are no specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding wheat farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. All purpose flour may or may not have labor issues.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

This post was all about all purpose flour benefits and side effects.

Sources:

USDA Food Data Central, All purpose flour

Flour for Home Baking: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Supermarket Products Emphasising the Whole Grain Opportunity

Colorado State: Food source information, Flour

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.