Reader Kate writes in with this about sifting:
I had an interesting experience with sifting the other day. I was trying out this “organic, whole grain pastry flour” for kicks, and while sifting, was surprised to find a weevil pop up from the sieve! Having been raised on all-purpose bleached flour, it was a shock. Even today, it seems, we can never be certain about what will pop up from our flour.
No surprises there. Not to impugn organic flour, but I’ve had similar surprises using boutique organic flours (which is why I always, always sift them before I use them). It stands to reason, however. The more one eschews the techniques of modernity, the more one re-encounters the problems of the past. Even flours produced in very modern mills can have pest issues, though. At present I’m trying to use up the 50 lb. bag of durum flour I bough a few months ago, before the inevitable cereal moths start hatching out of it.