People are telling me about rye flour, ergotism, and LSD. Apparently there are reasons to believe the Salem witch trials were caused by ergotism. It sounds to me like I don't have much to worry about since millers have stopped grinding the ergots up with the rye but I am not sure.

Do I need to be concerned about keeping rye flour for too long? Is baking sourdough rye bread dangerous (because the wet, rye flour sits out for so long)? Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when working with rye?

  • Your link to ergotism fails to mention Ergotamine, a potent vasoconstrictor found in infected rye which was responsible for a lot of suffering: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism LSD is far from the whole story here. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 14 '17 at 23:03

Looking on the internet, I see ergot is when the rye berries turn into this rye with ergot

and develops these enter image description here

Gross! Wouldn't you notice if that showed up in your kitchen?

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    The OP did ask about flour, so I think the concern is that something bad could've gotten ground up and you wouldn't know? – Cascabel Apr 13 '17 at 17:34
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    @Jefromi, I think he decided the flour producers no longer ground up the ergots with the rye, but was still worried about what might happen at his place while he was making sourdough, or if he kept the flour itself around too long. – Lorel C. Apr 13 '17 at 17:37
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    Ah, I was reading it as "what if they missed something" but maybe it's about recontamination etc, true. – Cascabel Apr 13 '17 at 17:39
  • @Jefromi Yes, my question is about recontamination. I trust the source of my flour, I just don't know if I need to be concerned about using all my rye flour in a timely manner. – sirdank Apr 17 '17 at 14:29

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