[Lora: How's this for a culinary engineer's perspective? :-) jc]
The answer to the shipping charge question can be summed up in a physics
work = force x distance
Shipping heavy things (lots of force required) over long distances means
doing lots of work.
And we all know that quantities of flour are heavy and work costs money. So
shipping heavy things across a distance means high shipping costs.
If you call King Arthur, they can help you with ways to get your local
grocer to stock their products. Then you don't have to worry about the
personal shipping charge while still getting to enjoy their superior