Does Size Matter? (Starch Granules)



By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog


Raw starch is toxic.

Cook starch thoroughly.

Better yet, dextrinize it completely.

Butter offers further protection.


Ray Peat (“Food-junk and some mystery ailments: Fatigue, Alzheimer’s, Colitis, Immunodeficiency,” 2006-2016) wrote …

“[Gerhard] Volkheimer found that mice fed raw starch aged at an abnormally fast rate, and when he dissected the starch-fed mice, he found a multitude of starch-grain-blocked arterioles in every organ, each of which caused the death of the cells that depended on the blood supplied by that arteriole. It isn’t hard to see how this would affect the functions of organs such as the brain and heart, even without considering the immunological and other implications of the presence of foreign particles randomly distributed through the tissue.”

The smaller the starch granule, the more toxic it is, according to Ray Peat, and the more it contributes to leaky gut syndrome.


Curtis Criss McDonnell (The Manufacture of Starch from Sweet Potatoes, 1908) compared starch granules …

“The grains of corn starch are more uniform in size than any of those here described, except rice. They resemble the latter in shape, but are larger. The grains vary in size from .01 to .03 mm. in diameter. They are more angular than the other starch grains mentioned except rice — many of them being polyhedral in form. Hilum [the point around which the layers of starch are deposited] is central, and usually a crack or star-shaped. Rings are nearly invisible.”

“The grains of rice starch resemble those of corn, but are smaller and more angular. In size they range from .002 to .01 mm. in diameter. Rings are not evident, and hilum central and distinct under high power.”

“The grains of wheat starch are almost spherical in form and show great variation in size, ranging from .005 to .05 mm. in diameter. There are many more of the small-sized grains than of the large ones, and only a few of intermediate sizes. They are provided with concentric rings, which are generally apparent. The hilum is visible under high power.”

“The starch grains of the Irish potato are among the largest of all starches, and are very characteristic in appearance. A microscope of comparatively small power is sufficient to bring out the structure of the largest grains. In largest diameter they range from .01 to .12 mm. The small grains are nearly round and the large ones oval in shape, having the appearance under the microscope of an oyster shell. The oval grains are about twice as long as broad. Hilum is round and near one end. Rings numerous and complete.”

“The grains of sweet-potato starch more nearly resemble corn in shape than any of those examined. They are much more variable in size, however, and not so angular, — some of the grains being almost round. They show a well-developed hilum, usually star-shaped, but sometimes an irregular cross. They are frequently marked by radiating fissures. Rings are indistinct. In size they range from .005 to .05 mm. in diameter.”

'Does Size Matter? (Starch Granules)' have 4 comments

  1. November 2, 2016 @ 5:01 pm Atom

    Candy (not her real name) was diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease.

    Her right leg “jumped” every time she mentioned her mother.

    Sometimes a “twitch” becomes visual. A leg will actually lift off the floor. You could slide a credit card under the foot if you’re quick enough.

    It didn’t take me long to find out that Candy was unduly attached to her mother.

    Was she or wasn’t she? You be the judge.

    Candy lived with her mother.

    She worked with her mother.

    Her mother phoned her every hour to see how she was doing.

    Candy broke up with her fiance because he wanted to move thirty miles away from where her mother lived.

    I got into trouble over this session.

    Candy’s mother phoned my friend Norma, who had set up the session, and dumped all over her.

    “Is that guy crazy? Candy told me he said, I’m the reason she’s sick!”

    I explained to Norma, “I never said, her mother was the cause. I told her, she was unduly attached to her mother, not the other way around.

    I added, “Actually, what Candy told her mother was her way of being passive-aggressive, both against me and her mother.”–illustrated.php


    • November 3, 2016 @ 1:35 pm John

      Hello Atom! As Thanksgiving is drawing closer, your post on starches is right on schedule! I have some questions regarding this popular form of carbohydrate:

      1) Your post states that sweet potato starches range in size from .005 to .05 mm. in diameter and from .01 to .12 mm for the Irish potato, and I was wondering what the starch sizes were for some of the other Thanksgiving favorites like pumpkin, squash, parsnips and apples?

      2) As people begin searching the Internet for Thanksgiving holiday recipes and wade through the wide variety of food preparation techniques for homemade pumpkin pie, corn bread and mashed potatoes, it makes me wonder which cooking techniques would effectively dextrinize the starches they contain? You have often mentioned the dextrinization methods for baked potatoes, and wanted to learn any that you and Vibrant Gal may have for the carbohydrates in these festive dishes?

      Thanks again for another informative blog entry!


      • November 5, 2016 @ 4:21 pm Atom

        I’ll be writing more about starch molecules in the future (partially in my latest blog entry — Fricasseed Sucking Puppies).

        I’ll also be writing more about dextrinization. Meanwhile, check out some of my past blog entries, e.g. …

        Ultimate Starch Blocker (Dextrinization) — Sept. 19, 2011

        5 Pointers On Taming a Wild Gut — Mar. 11, 2014


  2. November 2, 2016 @ 6:29 pm Atom

    John Taylor Gatto (The Underground History of American Education, Revised Edition, 2006) wrote …

    “‘School is the cheapest police,’ Horace Mann once said. It was a sentiment publicly spoken by every name — Sears, Pierce, Harris, Stowe, Lancaster, and the rest —prominently involved in creating universal school systems for the coal powers. One has only to browse Merle Curti’s The Social Ideas of American Educators to discover that the greatest social idea educators had to sell the rich, and which they lost no opportunity to sell, was the police function of schooling. Although a pedagogical turn in the Quaker imagination is the reason schools came to look like penitentiaries, Quakers are not the principal reason they came to function like maximum security institutions. The reason they came to exist at all was to stabilize the social order and train the ranks. In a scientific, industrialized, corporate age, ‘stability’ was much more exquisitely defined than ordinary people could imagine. To realize the new stability, the best breeding stock had to be drawn up into reservations, likewise the ordinary. ‘The Daughters of the Barons of Runnemede’ is only a small piece of the puzzle; many more efficient and subtler quarantines were essayed.”


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