What’s the Darn Deal with Modern Wheat?
Suddenly in the last 25 years or so, many people in the USA have been diagnosed as gluten intolerant or with Celiac Disease. This fairly modern problem has arisen through the eating of grains such as wheat, oats, rye and barley. Various symptoms occur in those affected. Problems such as intestinal pain and bloating, headaches, rashes, poor digestion issues, brain fog, body aches, autoimmune responses, and more. Those who are prone to the debilitating properties of gluten can develop disease due to the damaged intestinal villi ( the finger-like projections that line the small intestines). Those who suffer from gluten intolerance and Celiac disease know this all too well.
BUT..is it actually the gluten, (a grain protein), that is the cause of this? Grains that have been eaten all through human history that are full of beneficial nutrients and complex carbohydrates when prepared properly? The growing, soaking, drying, grinding, fermenting and subsequent baking of breads of all types has been traditionally utilized and consumed throughout all of societal time. What is happening now that so many can not eat bread? Why is wheat so different now?
A “Glutton for Gluten”
I, as well as so many others, am a “Glutton for Gluten”. Most everyone loves bread and wheat products (pizza and pasta!) Those satisfying carbohydrates that are full of iron, B vitamins, and minerals, as long as they are whole grain and not refined and processed. Why suddenly are we having problems with bread? What is happening to our modern wheat and grains that so many are unable to eat them anymore?
The Evil Empire of ” M’Santo and his spawn Roun Dupe”
Could it be the wide spread prevalence of herbicides and pesticides? GMO’s ( Genetically Modified Organisms) or a certain product with the initials “R.U”? I believe so! What else could be the reason why folks can’t eat they way we used to eat? While these herbicide chemicals are not yet genetically introduced to the seeds of wheat (yet!), they are sprayed liberally all over the almost finished fields so that the grains die back, fall down, and then are easily harvested up my machinery. Industrial farming efficiency, at the cost of our health! It’s the large laboratory made chemical glyphosate that is the culprit. “Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. It is an organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate. It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broad leaf weeds and grasses that compete with crop.” (from Wiki). Glyphosphates, the dangerous chemical that most all of us are now exposed to and inadvertently consuming here in the USA, and elsewhere where countries apply it. And the GMO seeds and the resulting food plants are truly not designed for the human body. Yet most of the unsuspecting public masses are eating it up in droves. It can’t be good for our health. It’s just not natural.
“Back in the Old Country”
For many Americans who have their heritage not too far back from overseas, they may recall hearing stories from the Grandparents or Great Grandparents who talk of the food from their country of origin. How they were able to eat each day. Fresh, local, straight off the farm, and from the village or city butchers, bakers, and healthy food makers. The indigenous diets from “back in the day” were full of life giving nutrients. Heritage recipes and food preparations that were all natural and fit into a balanced lifestyle. They did not have any of these new chemicals sprayed all over and into their foods and the lab manipulated seeds that change the genetics the way we do now. Longevity with barely a disease were some of their lifestyle attributes. In our USA history, the Colonists came with their food and farming methods and learned so much from the Native Americans. For much of early American history, there was good health and balanced eating (proteins, fats and carbohydrates). Small scale farming and raising of livestock that was prepared and consumed fresh (and mostly indigenous). Fish caught off shore or in lakes and rivers, not from ‘force fed fish farms’, pond farms that go against the nature of the fishes normal habitat and selected diet. How can we now get “back to the Old Country”?
“Bread, the Staff of Life” and “Wine, the Fruit of the Vine”
Last year we had the amazing privilege of traveling to Israel for 2 weeks. Besides all we saw and did in the Holy Land, on our amazing self designed tour, we ate the most incredible and delicious fresh food. Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine. The wheat products tasted phenomenal. In most instances the wheat was fresh ground and baked into breads and pastries. I have many friends who are gluten sensitive in the USA, but were able to eat all grain foods in Israel with no ill effects. What does that tell you? As far as I am aware, they do not use glyphosates on their farms or gmo plants! First hand we were able to visit the farms and food fields of much of Israel. It was an encouraging experience.
“What Can We Do?”
In my personal experience, I have found that I can make a difference for myself and in my own circle of family and friends. For right now in my life, it’s what I can manage. I can immerse myself getting educated, ( by researching and through first hand experience, learning from others around me), and by spreading this knowledge in my community (and in the occasional blog post!) Living in the countryside of Virginia has enabled us to have an organic farm in which we can grow food for our family. Also the ability to take part in, and help out with, a State wide food and farmer advocacy group called VICFA ( Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association), that was co-founded by the “now famous farmer” Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm. Getting involved by joining this group, and by my being on the board of directors for a few years now, has helped me to learn and get active on the food and farming freedom movement in so many ways. Supporting VICFA can make a noble impact and important difference for the lives of so many, and especially for the next generations. This farm and food freedom advocacy group’s main mission and story is: “Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home produced food products. Working to bring Farm and Food Freedom to the Virginia people. VICFA was started by a handful of individuals in central Virginia who are deeply concerned about the over-regulation of small farm sales direct to consumers. Consumers were, in fact, being denied their right to have fresh, wholesome foods from farmers whom they knew and trusted. Incorporated in April of 2001 as a non-profit corporation, VICFA’s mission statement was and remains: “To promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally-grown or home-produced food products.”
Local farmers growing and raising natural and organic foods without the use of toxic chemicals, and implementing the wisdom from the past, ( farming before chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides), can be supported by us all buying from them at the farmers market. Or if you can, grow and raise the foods yourself!
Please consider joining VICFA today. We are hosting an event in Richmond, Virginia, “A Night of Solutions”, on June 22, 2018 featuring Joel Salatin and Dr. Sina McCullough (author of the highly informative book ” Hands Off My Food”) http://www.handsoffmyfood.com . It will be an educational and fun evening to learn and fellowship with others who care about health, food, and farming freedoms. Please visit the vicfa website to learn more and get tickets to our event. http://www.vicfa.org